Florida father upset after animal rights protesters interrupt family while fishing

Posted at 10:37 AM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 06:52:20-04

A St. Petersburg, Florida father is upset after he said his family was harassed by a group of animal rights protesters while fishing.

Bob Hope tells Tampa-based WFTS he was with his family at Crescent Lake Park, fishing for their dinner, when a group of individuals approached them about fishing and how wrong they think it is to keep fish after catching them. 

Hope said at first a boy around 8 years old approached him, "he came up to us and said you know fish feel pain and you're hurting that fish."

After that Hope said a group of half a dozen protestors came from around the corner, grabbed the fish they caught and threw it back in the water.

"That's when I decided I didn't want to return any sort of violence with violence," he said.

So instead he called 911. 

His mother who was with him captured the incident on her smart phone and Hope posted it to Facebook to get the opinions of his friends.

Watch the full video below:




The video now has nearly 2,000 shares.

Police responded to the scene as the protesters were getting into their vehicles. They confirmed the group protesting was with an animal liberation organization.

Signs posted at Crescent Lake Park indicate that fishing is permitted for most of the summer months. 

No arrests were made. 

The St. Petersburg Police Department released the following statement regarding the incident: 

"When the officer arrived, the protesters were already getting in their cars. The primary concern for the officer was to restore the peace and the officer didn’t witness any disorderly conduct or criminal activity. The officer documented the call as well as the names, addresses, and auto tag numbers of the principal protesters. Whether one agrees with the message or not, any group has a right to free speech in a public park. The officer acted appropriately under the circumstances."

RELATED | Group of people dressed up as cows and chickens protests Chick Fil A Cow Appreciation Day