Charges dropped against one shark-dragging suspect in viral video

- Charges were dropped against one of three men connected to a viral video of a shark being dragged behind a high-speed boat.

On Tuesday morning, a Hillsborough County judge dropped charges against Spencer Heintz. Heintz, Michael Wenzel and Robert Benac pleaded not guilty to charges including animal cruelty back in January.

Wenzel and Benac still face those charges, but prosecutors now say there wasn’t enough evidence against Heintz.  

The charges were filed in December following a four-month investigation after the shark-dragging video, among other “disturbing” imagery on social media involved a "shocking disregard for Florida’s natural resources," the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said.

The video surfaced in July, fueling outrage and anger in the Tampa Bay area.

FWC says the public can help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Charges dropped against one shark-dragging suspect in viral video
  • Charges dropped against former TPD officer Adam York
  • Trendy business incubator sets to launch in Lakeland
  • Motorized scooter craze on its way to Tampa
  • Conviction reviews return lives of wrongfully convicted in Hillsborough Co.
  • Most Bay Area counties make fast work of recounts
  • 'Violent' suspect robbed banks in Florida, Alabama, FBI says
  • Made in Tampa Bay: Skilled workforce crafts Bertram Yachts for worldwide elite
  • Study: Domestic violence costs Pinellas Co. $132 million yearly
  • Arrest made in Indian Rocks Beach wrong-way crash