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
  • Son stabbed mother with screwdriver inside Lutz home, deputies say
  • Trevor Dooley returns to court for appeal hearing
  • Part of Tampa cemetery listed for sale on Craigslist
  • FBI, DHS contradict Nelson's Russia meddling claims
  • Update: Habitat for Humanity mortgages in default, but debts remained constant after sale
  • Vinicks help make new Boys & Girls Club possible after fire
  • Farm of dreams: Polk horse rescue gets new facility
  • Manatee County declares red tide state of emergency
  • Rescuers say goodbye to emaciated dog