Magistrate Sentences Kite Flyer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A kite shop owner convicted of assaulting a park ranger and violating rules by flying a kite over Castillo de San Marco National Monument has been sentenced to a weekend in jail and fined $250.
U.S. Magistrate Harvey Schlesinger on Monday also gave Larry Wade, 38, of St. Augustine, a suspended six-month prison term and placed him on five years’ probation. He must spend from noon Friday until noon Monday in jail.
Schlesinger also ordered Wade, owner of Blowin’ In The Wind kite shop, not to fly a kite or cause another person to fly a kite over the fortress.
Wade was convicted in August of assaulting Ranger Michael Tennent and violating the regulations of the Spanish fort built in 1672 in St. Augustine. He was given a three-month suspended sentence on each count.
The kite-flying rules were enacted last year by the National Park Service after a kite hit a turret and broke off a chunk of coquina, a limestone made of broken shells and coral.
When Wade was arrested June 21, he was flying eight kites on the green.
Wade testified that he did not believe he had violated the rules because he tied the kites to a tree outside park property. He also denied assaulting the ranger, and said he was trying to stop Tennent from bringing down the kites.