Man reportedly ‘sexually molested’ manatee statue at Florida restaurant, threw gator nuggets, caused traffic jam

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A drunken man “sexually molested” a manatee statue at a Florida restaurant, threw alligator nuggets, got into a physical altercation with a worker, and went on an obscenity-filled tirade at a hotel that caused a traffic jam, police said.

Anthony Michael Lessa, 23, was arrested on Friday night and charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly intoxication, according to an arrest report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Lessa was reportedly dining at Rick’s Reef, a bar and restaurant located in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Lessa allegedly became intoxicated at the restaurant and was hostile toward staffers.

“The patron became upset when he was told he’d already paid his bill, then got angrier when he was asked to leave the restaurant,” the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

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WOFL reported, “When staff confronted Lessa, he ‘became belligerent’ and ‘sexually molested’ a manatee statue in the presence of staff and other patrons, the affidavit said.”

Lessa is accused of being “physically aggressive” with a restaurant employee who asked him to leave. Lessa — from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — allegedly hurled gator nuggets in the restaurant before fleeing the scene.

Approximately 30 minutes later, Lessa arrived at the Postcard Inn on the Beach, less than half a mile from the Rick’s Reef restaurant. At the hotel, Lessa reportedly screamed obscenities at employees and “acted disorderly” before he was asked to leave. Lessa refused to leave so the hotel manager called police, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The hotel manager reportedly asked Lessa to calm down and offered to escort him to his room, but he refused to say which room he was in.

According to the affidavit, Lessa exited the hotel and went to the parking lot, where he continued to hurl vulgarities. Deputies said the man’s outburst caused a back-up in traffic on Gulf Boulevard. He was also accused of “disturbing of the peace of several other guests waiting for rides.”

During his arrest and subsequent pat-down, police officers discovered gator nuggets in his pocket, as seen in video released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy is heard on video asking Lessa, “What is that? Oh, that was the crap you had that you were throwing in the other restaurant.”

Lessa responded, “Nuggets, yeah. Gator nuggets. Shark bites.”

A shoeless Lessa repeatedly asked the officers why he was being arrested and ordered them to contact his lawyer.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies reportedly detected a strong odor consistent with alcohol and observed that his pupils were dilated in a high-light environment. The suspect was in a heightened state with a short-term memory implication, deputies said.

Lessa was arrested and booked into jail. He was released on Saturday morning.

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