Justice! ‘Boating Bros’ Who Dragged a Shark to Death Have Been Arrested

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

In July of this year, animal rights activists were outraged to see footage of a group of men — referred to as the “Boating Bros” — abusing a shark while speeding along in a high-speed boat.

As Truth Theory previously reported, Michael Wenzel (25), Robert Lee Benac (28), and Spencer Heintz (23) recorded themselves laughing and smiling as they dragged the shark behind them. One of the men joked that the creature looked “almost dead.” They thought it was funny, whereas the rest of the world certainly did not.

After the video inspired outrage, Florida wildlife authorities investigated the ordeal. They found that the men first shot, then dragged, the shark at a high-speed. This caused its death. As a result of their foolishness, all three men have been charged with animal abuse.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office, all three men were charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. CNN reports that Benac and Wenzel were also each charged with one count of illegal method of take, which is a misdemeanor.

“Because they first shot the shark, it warranted two separate charges for animal cruelty,” said Robert Klepper, the public information coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. Each third-degree felony animal cruelty charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Insult was added to injury when the investigators discovered a second incident which occurred earlier that day. “While searching social media for evidence, investigators discovered a second incident earlier that day, resulting in an additional misdemeanor charge against two of the men,” Klepper said. “An issue like this is very unusual. This was a disturbing and disheartening video.”

Animal rights advocates are celebrating the development, claiming justice has been served. What do you think? Please comment below and share this news!

Read more: Florida Bros Who Dragged Shark Behind High-Speed Boat Have History Of Abusing Wildlife

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2017/12/24/justice-boating-bros-dragged-shark-death-arrested/

Handcuffed Man Drowns, State Trooper Pleads Guilty to Boating Violation






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A Missouri state trooper pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation three years after he handcuffed a college student and left him to drown in a lake.

Brandon Ellingson and his friends were celebrating the start of summer break with a boating trip in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks in May 2014. But as he and his friends were leaving the dock one afternoon, trooper Anthony Piercy stopped them and accused Ellingson, 20, of boating while intoxicated. Piercy handcuffed Ellingson, placed him in the back of his Water Patrol boat, and sped off. The boat was traveling 46 miles per hour when it hit a wave, flinging the handcuffed young man into the water. Piercy called his supervisor an hour after Ellingson drowned.

Piercy faces a maximum six months in prison and a $500 fine for Ellingson’s death. Ellingson’s family says it’s the closest they’ll get to justice.

“He’s an evil person,” Ellingson’s father Craig told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “The reason we decided to go to the plea deal was it was tainted down there,” in Morgan County, Missouri’s court system.

The family also reached a $9 million settlement with the state of Missouri in November 2016. “We weren’t going to go through that again,” Craig said of the two-year ordeal.

The family had to fight to learn even the basic facts of their son’s death. Four months after Ellingson drowned, a local coroner ruled his death an accident, despite testimony from Ellingson’s friends who described Piercy as negligent.

After Piercy cuffed Ellingson, he tried pulling a life vest over Ellingson’s cuffed arms, instead of choosing another available life vest that allowed a person to wear handcuffs.

“He tried to pull [it] over his shoulders… and was having a very hard time doing so,” Ellingson’s friend Myles Goertz told investigators, according to the Kansas City Star. “It clearly was not the proper way to wear a life jacket. It was not how the life jacket was designed to be worn.”

Forgetting to fasten a buckle between Ellingson’s legs, Piercy “shoved a life jacket over his head and took off like a bat out of hell,” Craig said.

The misapplied life vest fell off as Ellingson hit the water. Ellingson was an “all star” football player, his father said. But with his hands cuffed behind his back, Ellingson struggled to stay afloat. Piercy did not jump in to save him.

When a bachelorette party passed on a nearby boat, the passengers threw Ellingson a life ring “but they didn’t know my son was handcuffed,” Craig said. “Piercy didn’t say he was handcuffed.”

The women told investigators that they screamed at Piercy to extend a pole to Ellingson, which he did “but he knew he was handcuffed,” Craig said.

Piercy did not call a supervisor for help until an hour after Ellingson drowned. Footage from his boat shows Piercy having a chillingly casual conversation with his colleague, referring to Ellingson in profane terms.

“I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m alright. I don’t know if I’m sore from treading water with the bastard,” Piercy told a supervisor of the dead 20-year-old.

Many of the records on Ellingson’s death only emerged later, through his family’s persistent legal efforts against the department.

In September 2016, a circuit court judge ruled that the state had “knowingly” and “purposely” violated the state’s Sunshine Law to withhold documents about Ellingson’s death from his family. “These documents could all be considered highly damaging to the [Highway Patrol], and the wrongful nondisclosure of these documents is troubling to the Court,” a judge wrote.

Piercy’s criminal case presented the Ellingsons with a different challenge: small-town Missouri law.

Morgan County’s population hovers just above 20,000. During an inquest jury on the cause of Ellingson’s death, a juror told the Kansas City Star that the criminal trial should be held outside Morgan County because the local courts ran on a “good ole boy system.” And Piercy was reportedly well-known in the small community.

“That whole town’s been tainted,” Craig said. “His wife’s a teacher, he was on the school board, he was a cop.”

The Ellingsons wanted to move the case to Kansas City, or closer to their home near Des Moines, Iowa, but the case was locked into Piercy’s hometown venue, where they worried Piercy would walk free.

“It would have been a hung jury, or he would have gotten off,” Craig said. Special prosecutor William Camm Seay interviewed locals about their stance on the case and arrived at the same concerns.

“I had a great fear of a mistrial and just seating a jury,” Seay told the Star. Instead, Seay agreed to offer a drastically reduced plea deal. Instead of facing involuntary manslaughter charges, Piercy would plead guilty to a misdemeanor boating violation, a slap on the wrist that could result in a maximum six months behind bars.

Piercy’s lawyer asked that Piercy be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, should he be sentenced to more than probation. But after three years of fighting his son’s case, Craig said the closest thing to justice will be the opportunity to address Piercy during the sentencing.

“It was probably the best alternative, rather than have him walk free. This way we can sit in front of him and say what we want,” Craig said. “I’m a Christian. Ultimately, my belief is he’ll be judged by God.”

Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/handcuffed-man-drowns-state-trooper-pleads-guilty-boating-violation/

Cop Gets Off With Boating Violation for Handcuffing College Kid and Watching Him Drown

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Versailles, MO — Nearly two years after Trooper Anthony Piercy was charged in the death of Brandon Ellingson, who drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks with his hands cuffed behind his back, the case has been closed. Predictably, the offending officer is getting off with less than a slap on the wrist.

For handcuffing a college student, negligently casting him into a lake, and watching as he drowned, Trooper Piercy pleaded guilty to a simple boating violation.

On May 31, 2014. Trooper Piercy arrested Ellingson under suspicion of OWI and negligently placed the wrong life jacket over the handcuffed 20-year-old’s torso. Piercy then drove his patrol boat away from the scene at a high rate of speed. Ellingson was thrown from the craft when it struck a sizeable wake, the life jacket came off, and he drowned with his hands still in cuffs while Piercy callously watched on.

“He’s an evil person,” Ellingson’s father Craig told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “The reason we decided to go to the plea deal was it was tainted down there,” in Morgan County, Missouri’s court system.

During the investigation, it was determined that Piercy did little to nothing as he watched Ellingson drown.

As the Beast reports:

Piercy did not jump in to save him.

When a bachelorette party passed on a nearby boat, the passengers threw Ellingson a life ring “but they didn’t know my son was handcuffed,” Craig said. “Piercy didn’t say he was handcuffed.”

The women told investigators that they screamed at Piercy to extend a pole to Ellingson, which he did “but he knew he was handcuffed,” Craig said.

Piercy did not call a supervisor for help until an hour after Ellingson drowned. Footage from his boat shows Piercy having a chillingly casual conversation with his colleague, referring to Ellingson in profane terms.

“I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m alright. I don’t know if I’m sore from treading water with the bastard,” Piercy told a supervisor of the dead 20-year-old.

As The Free Thought Project previously reported, following the familiar full-court press to prevent officer accountability, the jury in a Coroner’s Inquest ruled Ellingson’s death to be accidental. It was subsequently revealed that Amanda Grellner, the prosecutor who declined to file charges against Piercy, had received a personal favor from the MHP three years earlier when the department declined to charge her then-18-year-old son with DUI.

Last September, a circuit court judge found that the state had “knowingly and purposefully” covered up the crimes of Piercy, violating the state’s Sunshine Law in the act.

After seeing that they were getting zero help from the perpetrator and his subsequent conspirators, the family of Ellingson launched a campaign for justice. During this campaign, they were joined by Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant, Randy Henry.

Henry witnessed first hand, the incompetence, negligence, and cover-up and took to exposing it.

“We killed Brandon Ellingson,” Henry bluntly told the Lake Expo newspaper, following it with the question of “Why are we investigating ourselves?”

In a conversation with Piercy the day following Ellingson’s death, Henry expressed concerns about how the arresting officer had conducted himself. Piercy himself seemed remorseful, telling Henry,

“I feel like I drowned that kid…. I should have done more for him.”

In any other context, that comment would be treated as a confession to second-degree murder.

Henry then filed a report on the drowning and testified about the inadequate training Piercy and other water patrol officers received.

During an interview with patrol investigators following the drowning, Henry mentioned a state law dealing with the safety of people in custody and how the police are responsible for the lives of those they detain. An investigator interrupted Henry and insisted that the recorder be turned off, to deliberately prevent an official record of his disclosures.

The stiff arm of blue justice moved in and now we are seeing the results.

Instead of Piercy being held accountable for his negligence, it was Henry who was then run through the gamut of the thin blue line. He was cast out by his department, demoted to corporal, and forced to retire.

 

Now, the man responsible for the death of a star college student is facing a maximum of a $500 fine and six months in jail. However, the chances of the officer spending any time behind bars are slim to none.

In fact, Piercy has already planned ahead if he gets sentenced to even a single day in jail. As the Beast reports, Piercy’s lawyer asked that Piercy be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, should he be sentenced to more than probation. But after three years of fighting his son’s case, Craig said the closest thing to justice will be the opportunity to address Piercy during the sentencing.

“It was probably the best alternative, rather than have him walk free. This way we can sit in front of him and say what we want,” Craig said. “I’m a Christian. Ultimately, my belief is he’ll be judged by God.”

 

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ellingson-drown-boating-violation/