ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - A protest against a woman accused of harming protected turtle nests on her beach property caused quite a commotion Thursday morning.
Bright and early, the protesters hit the sand... where they could legally stand, of course. Soon, chants of "where's my mommy?" and "Shell no, we won't go" resonated across Englewood Beach.
"It seems like "where's my mommy?" was the protest slogan of the day," WSRZ Morning Show Producer Frank Harris said.
The tongue-in-cheek protest was the idea of Sarasota radio station, WSRZ's morning crew. Juanita Schultz and Mary Cammarano-Richards are charged with disturbing a protected turtle's nest on Schultz's beachfront property. A third degree felony, they could spend up to 5 years in prison. Both deny the charges.
For decades, Schultz has fought to keep her beach private. It wasn't long before tempers flared.
"You're defending an accused felon!" one man yelled to a woman coming from Schultz's property.
"She might be careless and she might be stubborn, but it's not going to help your organization," the woman yelled back at the protesters.
"Flash" from the morning show, lead the protest, dressed as a Loggerhead turtle. "You might think we are out here to give a voice to endangered turtles, but it's not just that," Harris said. "We got such a response yesterday when this topic came up on air, that for 2 1/2 hours, emails and phone calls, it was incessant."
Though Schultz's "no trespassing" signs stand tall, some still dare to leave footprints on her sand. Several Charlotte County deputies and FWC officers came out to monitor the protest and ensure the stakes and take protecting the turtles nests had not been removed.