Crime

Homestead man caught red-handed spearing lobster

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra examines a speargun with a speared lobster after an arrest Sunday.
Deputy Wilfredo Guerra examines a speargun with a speared lobster after an arrest Sunday.

Evidence against a Homestead man accused of spearing lobster -- which is against the law -- includes a speargun with a lobster impaled on a spear, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports.

Pascual Castaneda, 32, was arrested Sunday afternoon at the Channel 5 Bridge at mile marker 71 and booked on six misdemeanor conservation counts.

Marine patrol Deputy Wilfredo Guerra spotted Castaneda diving without a required diver-down flag near the south end of the bridge on Long Key.

Guerra "saw the man was spearing a lobster. As the man surfaced with a lobster on his spear, Deputy Guerra identified himself and took the spear from the man," said Deputy Becky Herrin, agency information officer.

Castaneda reportedly carried two catch bags holding a total of eight lobster. All the lobster had been speared and four were below the minimum size limit.

The defendant faces charges of possessing undersized lobster, possessing speared lobster, taking lobster in a closed season, exceeding the bag limit, failure to have a lobster measuring device and spearfishing within 100 yards of a bridge.

Castaneda was released late Monday after posting bond of $3,450.

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