There’s a man in Florida who tried to bring a fish back to life in order to avoid jail time after he was caught fishing during closed season, but he was still arrested anyway.
The Sebastian Daily reports that Fernando Pantoja, a 37-year-old man, was seen by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer using a castnet in the Indian River. From the sound of the report, the officer hollered at Pantoja to stop fishing, but instead Pantoja started frantically throwing fish from his cooler back into the water.
“I ran to the defendant’s location and told him to stop throwing the fish as he continued to discard them,” the officer said.
When the officer got to Pantoja, there were at least 10 fish on the bottom of the river, and one very large snook floating on top of the water, struggling to revive. With an illegal snook in his possession, Pantoja knew he would without a doubt be arrested. So, he started doing anything he could to bring the fish back to life.
The officer apparently realized what Pantoja was doing, and ordered him to put the fish in his cooler. However, it was too late because the fish came to and swam off.
The defendant did still have an undersized black drum in his possession, however, and that combined with his blatant non-compliance with the game officer, landed him in the Indian River County Jail, where he was charged with not allowing an inspection by an officer of the state, as well as other pending charges.