For public record:
Petition to summon those responsible for the shark dragging video to community service
Our Florida crime blog started a petition in regards to this video:
We have located the driver, Michael Robert Wenzel, and many people are upset that he’s not facing criminal charges.
If the court cannot punish him, we are preparing a backup solution in which the FWC would have full control over a 1,000 hour community service program to teach the people in this video a lesson on responsibility and respect. Much of this time could be spent working for Manatee County, and the FWC may choose to send these boys through training at the expense of those responsible for this video.
You can find the petition here:
If there’s anything else you may request, please let us know. We hope to help.
We have already received this information and it is currently being investigated. Case number FWSW17OFF012872.
Research and Training Specialist
Fleet and Technical Services Section
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
From: WTF Florida? [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:42 PM
To: Tip <[email protected]>
Subject: Petition to summon those responsible for the shark dragging video to community service
Indictment of Michael Wenzel and Robert Lee Benac
We are addressing several acts of animal cruelty that have been posted online by Michael Wenzel and Robert Lee Benac.
Under Florida Statutes 828.12, their actions are clear and obvious cruelty to animals. Here is a web link for reference:
The FWC doesn’t seem to be doing anything about this issue. We have a petition with over 50,000 signatures demanding that these men are indicted for their crimes, yet they ignore our calls and emails, stating only that it’s too early to tell if a crime has been committed.
Several crimes have been committed, and the FWC knows that.
We reach out to you, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, to see if it would be in your jurisdiction or scope to arrest these men based on evidence gathered through photographs and videos. We understand that the FWC is in charge of most wildlife incidents, but this abuse still violates state laws and federal laws and can be handled by any executive branch of the government such as yourselves.
Please advise, and thank you very much for your time.
Public record request regarding shark torture incident
Please send any public records pertaining to Michael Wenzel and Robert Lee “Bo” Benac. Please also send any records regarding their animal abuse (from marine life to dogs), and any communication to and from the FWC regarding these incidents.
One of the videos that Michael and Robert posted went viral, and has caused a great amount of concern, not only for their heinous disregard for life and lack of respect for our natural resources, but also because they have not yet been indicted.
Here’s an article containing the details:
The FWC has failed to indict them so far, and will not return my emails or phone calls.
I also requested public records from them, but have yet to receive anything. Reference number W064429-072817. Case number FWSW17OFF012872.
Please let me know if the FWC is pursuing this incident. We have a petition with over 61,255 supporters demanding justice. We believe they are being protected by their affluent, politically-connected parents. Their status should not give them immunity from state law, specifically section 828.12 regarding animal cruelty.
Thank you so much for your time, and for your assistance in this matter.
Please send all records to our email address: [email protected]