Park Owner Gets Tased for ‘Attracting Bears’
A business owner who was hit with a Taser by an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was taken to jail believes her arrest was unfair. The state agency disagrees.
Ocala.com reported that Deborah R. Anderson, owner of Lake in the Forest RV Park in Silver Springs, was charged last week by an FWC officer with resisting arrest without violence and placing an attractant to create a nuisance or feeding a bear. Both offenses are misdemeanors. Anderson, 50, was released from the Marion County Jail on $1,500 bond.
Anderson said in a telephone interview that arresting officer Joseph J. Simpson “had an attitude problem” once he came on her property. She said because she did not obey his command, she was hit with the Taser.
Simpson’s report notes that he, another officer and a biologist went to the park after receiving a complaint about a nuisance bear. He noted that he saw a dumpster was open and saw several other trash cans on the property with small amounts of trash in them. Simpson said they asked Anderson if she had any bear problems and she responded that a bear was inside the dumpster last week during the day.
The report notes Anderson was told she needed to have a bear-resistant dumpster and she reportedly got angry and said she was not going to do it because of children and guests. She then walked away and was told to return to the conversation.
Simpson said he told her they were talking about a criminal violation and that she would be resisting if she walked away.