Published: Oct 02, 2012 4:18 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 02, 2012 10:13 PM EDT

Update:  Tuesday, 10pm:

Just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, suspect Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Communications Center to turn herself in.

Deputies met with Gutierrez at her residence and questioned her regarding the reported events.  Gutierrez admitted to the offense claiming she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees.  Deputies further explained the law regarding manatees and the possible penalties for violating such laws.

Deputies concluded their contact with Gutierrez and explained to her that charges would be forwarded to the State Attorney's Office for prosecution.

Due to the nature of the crime, this was not an arrestable offense because it did not occur in the deputy's presence.


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities in Pinellas County are searching for a woman who was pictured apparently trying to ride a manatee.

The picture was taken while she was on a beach near Tampa. Her actions violate the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act that says people are not allowed to interfere with the animals.

A violation of the act is a second degree misdemeanor.

(Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)