Florida Man Charged for Releasing Helium Balloons in Motel 6 Parking Lot

By: The Huffington Post Email
By: The Huffington Post Email

(The Huffington Post) - This blows.

Police say Anthony Brasfield, 40, was spending Sunday morning with his girlfriend, Shaquina Baxter, when he released 12 heart-shaped helium balloons into the sky over a Motel 6 parking lot in Dania Beach, Fla.

He has been charged with a third-degree felony.

According to the Sun Sentinel, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who witnessed the act slapped Brasfield with a charge of polluting to harm humans, animals and plants, under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.

The trooper wasn't just full of hot air, though. Balloons can travel more than a thousand miles away from their original release site, the Audubon Society states.

A huge number of these balloons wind up in the ocean, where they can pose a serious danger to sea turtles, birds, dolphins and whales, according to the Marine Conservation Society. Marine animals mistake the deflated balloons for jellyfish and other edible organisms. When the animals swallow the balloons, they can block the digestive tract, causing death from starvation.

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