A Miami police officer arrested animal rights activist Arnold Christopher Lagergren, 41 outside the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, Florida on Saturday. The off-duty officer detained Lagergren at gunpoint after phone calls to police accused the man of taking pictures of the facility and tampering with a fence along the property.
Lagergren is charged with four misdemeanors for incidents at the marine center. Police reports accuse Lagergren of affiliation with the Animal Liberation Front.
The Marine Mammal Conservancy treats stranded dolphins and whales. The organization has come under criticism for turning two stranded pilot whales over to Sea World back in May.
Monroe County Court Judge Regan Ptomey set bonds totaling $30,000 on the four charges, according to court records.
“This is a very politically charged situation, obviously,” said Richard Wunsch, Lagergren’s defense attorney.
“It does raise concerns,” Wunsch said. “Anybody would wonder how you get hit with a $30,000 bond on four misdemeanors…”
Animal rights groups have criticized Sea World for its part in the captive whale and dolphin entertainment industry. The for-profit animal amusement park has been cited for abuses of captive animals at its facilities.
For more information: KeysNet.com
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