A homeless man allegedly put a cold, open can of beer inside a marked sea turtle nesting site in Florida and was arrested Monday.
The man, Michael Joseph Gasko, 47, faces charges of molesting an endangered sea turtle nest, and two counts of violating park rules at Bonita Beach Park.
The Lee County Sherriff's Office report states:
On Monday a deputy told Gasko that he could not be in the park after dark and that he could not consume alcohol on the beach.
Gasko was told I would return the next night and he was not (to) be on the posted property or consume alcohol on the beach, the deputy wrote.
When the deputy returned at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday, he found Gasko in the area of Beach Access No. 1, and had his sleeping bag placed next to a marked sea turtle nest. He had placed his hat on the post indicating the nest and placed and open can of beer, which was still ¾ full and cold, inside the boundary of the nest itself.
The deputy went on to say that Gasko's actions could have endangered the eggs confined within the nest or any hatchlings nearby.
He could face third degree felony charges.
The endangered sea turtles are harshly protected in Florida where it is a violation to harass, molest or otherwise disturb their nests. Nesting season typically occurs from June through November.