Man Makes Grand Romantic Gesture ... That Might Land Him in Jail

Say What!? 12

Couples in love often do silly things to express their emotions. It’s one of the great things about being in love -- feeling happy and goofy and like you want to shout it to the world, because people need to know about a love as great as yours. A Florida man recently tried to show his girlfriend that his love for her was sky-high, by releasing balloons to float to the heavens, but now he’s facing potential jail time for the stunt.

Forty-year-old Anthony Brasfield was with his girlfriend in a Motel 6 parking lot on the morning of February 17 when he released 12 heart-shaped balloons in an apparent declaration of affection. What he didn’t know was that a Florida Highway Patrol officer witnessed it too -- and subsequently charged him with an environmental crime.

Apparently the motel is within two miles of a number of endangered species, so the simple act of releasing balloons is considered “polluting to harm animals” under the obscure Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act. Brasfield faces up to five years in prison if convicted for the third-degree felony.

Although people sometimes do crazy things for love, it’s doubtful that Brasfield intended to spend time behind bars for his lady. And if he did, he probably would’ve made some grander gesture than letting go of some balloons. This whole scenario is ridiculous, and I’m thinking it’s likely that Officer No Love got dumped over Valentine’s Day.

Seriously, how hard would it be to give the couple a warning and inform them of the law? They obviously weren’t intentionally trying to wreak havoc on the environment, and there’s no proof that they even did in this case. They were just trying to share a romantic moment.

Here’s to hoping all ends well for this couple, and someday they’ll have a great story to share at parties. How’s that for a conversation started? “Hey honey, remember that time I almost went to jail for you? Now that’s a good story ...”

Do you think Anthony Brasfield should be convicted of a felony for releasing balloons into the sky?

Image via Cyril Caton/Flickr

dating, in the news, love, romance tip, commitment


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Mrscj... Mrscjones

I live in Florida and we all feel the same way. Somebody's upset he dont have a lady love and using his badge to strike out.

xiolxuo xiolxuo

"Using his badge to strike out" hmm... um Nope! He's doing his job. He's near endangered species. Even though he didn't mean to do any harm, he needs to own up to it.

Flori... Floridamom96

Florida is one of the most heavily environmentally regulated states. This is beyond ridiculous. We owned a piece of commercial property we intended to develop. It had a ditch on it that someone had illegally dumped tires into before we bought it. This was deemed environmentally sensitive wetlands and we were prevented from altering it in any way. We had to have the DEP approve our plans to remove the tires. This man being arrested is just more of that same type of lunacy, only much, much worse.

Miche... Michelephant

Ignorance of the law is not freedom from it.

nonmember avatar Rocin

The problem is not the law, but the draconian penalty.
Our country is glutted with extreme penalties for minor violations;Courtastic is right, a small fine for littering would teach this poor Romeo what he needs to know, without ruining his life.

nonmember avatar Kimberly

What a sweet gesture. Hopefully, he gets a warning or can make a donation to an environmental fund in the area.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Unfortunately there are so many laws on the book it's impossible to know every single one.  A warning would be suffice but you know how it is.  Murderers and rapists get a year, man release balloons up to 5 years.

tuffy... tuffymama

Ridiculous. It was balloons, and was not done maliciously. The SPIRIT of the law and not the letter should be followed in some cases. I live in Florida. I am sick to death of rapists and child murderers serving less time than drugs dealers and "environmental criminals." I can't even think about it anymore. It is just SICKENING.

Zenia6 Zenia6

I hope he does not get 5 years for this but, the law is the law so he needed to be charged. Just because its an environmental concern should not make it less important. In all likelihood he will get a slap on the wrist and a few more Florida residents now realize it is not OK to release Mylar balloons near wildlife sanctuaries.

Felip... FelipesMom

I would like people to know that releasing balloons can endanger the environment and is against the law in some places. I didn't know that! But I would NOT like a first offender of a law like this to go to jail for five years and have a felony on his record - that is insane!!! 

I have heard (though have no idea if it's true or not) that the Aztecs had a law that said all the laws of the land must be few enough and short enough that any citizen can memorize them - that way ignorance of the law did not become an issue. I always thought that made sense!

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