Florida wildlife officials are recommending charges against a man accused of dragging a shark around a beach after beating it with a hammer in December.
According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report obtained by Fox News Digital, the agency is recommending that two charges be filed against the 33-year-old. Those charges include harvesting or possessing a prohibited species and catching a prohibited species and not immediately releasing it without harm.
A FWC spokesman confirmed the recommendation Thursday, according to News 6.
It will be up to the Brevard County State Attorney’s Office to decide whether to file formal charges against the man.
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A spokesperson from that office told Fox 35 Orlando Thursday it had either not yet received the report or it was still in the transfer process. Once received, it would then be reviewed by prosecutors.
The man has not been arrested, and charges have not been filed against him.
He is accused of dragging around what appears to be a lifeless shark at Bicentennial Beach Park Dec. 20. The incident was captured on video.
“Two (2) males were observed catching a shark while shore fishing, bringing the shark to shore, hitting the shark over the head with a hammer, and then dragging the shark back into the water and releasing it,” the Indian Harbour Beach Police Department said in a Facebook post last month.
VIDEO SHOWS MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY BEAT SHARK WITH A HAMMER, DRAGGED IT ACROSS FLORIDA BEACH
Witnesses said the man was seen bludgeoning the shark with a hammer. The outlet said the shark was believed to be a lemon shark, a protected species in Florida.
According to the FWC report, an investigator responded to the beach and interviewed a man who matched the descriptions witnesses provided.
That investigator was unable to find the shark due to the tide after the man admitted to deputies that he struck the shark. It is not known if the shark survived.
Lemon sharks are among 28 protected sharks in Florida. There are also rules depending on where people fish.
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Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.