BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — A Florida fisherman will spend five weekends in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty for dragging a live shark by the tail from a boat.
The Bradenton Herald reports that Robert Benac III will also pay a $2,500 fine, perform 250 hours of service at an animal shelter and lose his fishing license for three years. He had been set to go on trial Thursday for felony aggravated cruelty to animals. A second man, Michael Wenzel, accepted a similar plea earlier.
The case gained national infamy when video surfaced of the men dragging the shark at high speeds behind their boat in 2017, shredding the animal. Other videos were found showing the men shooting a shark and pouring alcohol down the throats of live fish.