East County’s famed wildlife rehabilitator Justin Matthews of Matthews Wildlife Rescue was arrested Nov. 4 for staging the capture of a 14-foot Burmese python in late July.
An investigation by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission into the incident have resulted in charges that include misusing a 911 Emergency System, a third-degree felony, and maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe manner, a second degree misdemeanor, a release by the FWC states.
Mathews, 47, garnered national attention for the July 25 capture of his pet python, which he had placed in a pipe in a Bradenton neighborhood and pretended to capture it. Matthews told The East County Observer he had called media, but none had responded to his request. When the snake became aggressive while in the pipe, he called the local fire department for assistance, and at that time news crews also arrived on scene.
In August, shortly after the FWC received a tip that Matthews had purchased the snake from a pet store in Tampa, Matthews admitted to staging the incident and apologized to the public.
Matthews currently is out on a $5,750 bond.
For previous coverage of Justin Matthews, click here.
Contact Pam Eubanks at email@example.com.
Currently 0 Responses
26 Thanksgiving Eve Service-Traditional Service
7:00 pm - 6:00 am
3 Advent Study
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
6 17th Annual Jingle & Jog Road Race and 1 Mile Fun Walk
6 Manatee Aubuon - OPEN HOUSE at Felts Audubon Preserve
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Com has found a home!
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall’s Finance Director Steve Zielinski is the community’s money man, and he’s got the cufflinks to prove it.
Observer on the hunt for displays
We’re making our list of the best holiday lights displays in East County and checking it twice.