The attorney general is calling these acts gruesome, repulsive and cruel.
“Not only were these gruesome acts of violence repulsive and cruel, they were recorded and posted to social media for the amusement of the defendants,” state Attorney General Pam Bondi said.
“I doubt they are laughing any longer now that they have been arrested for serious crimes,” Bondi said.
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Investigators say they lured bears by placing drums of dog food, doughnuts, pastries and peanut butter before using large packs of dogs to chase and maul the bears
Bondi is outraged: “The defendants themselves would come start beating the trees to make the bears fall down so the attack could happen or one of these idiot defendants climbed the tree to push the bear off.”
“Thanks to the comprehensive action of law enforcement, led by the dedicated officers of FWC, those responsible for these inhumane acts will face the full force of the law. In Florida, we have no tolerance for vile animal cruelty, and we will hold anyone accountable who commits this heinous crime," Gov. Rick Scott said.
The defendants are facing numerous charges including animal cruelty, baiting and racketeering.
Law enforcement officials arrested the following individuals in connection with the crimes:
- Christopher Elliot Haun, 42, Ormond Beach, Fla.
- William Landrum, 39, Millboro, Va.
- Mark Lindsey, 26, Moultrie, Ga.
- Dustin Reddish, 25, Lake Butler, Fla.
- Haley Reddish, 25, Lake Butler, Fla.
- Charles Luther Scarbrough III, 30, Callahan, Fla.
- Hannah Weiner Scarbrough, 27, Callahan, Fla.
- Troy Travis Starling, 45, Lake Butler, Fla.
- William Tyler Wood, 29, Lake Butler, Fla.