Man Charged With Felony for Letting Go of Balloons



A 40-year-old man faces felony charges after releasing a dozen heart-shaped, helium-filled balloons to impress his sweetheart. Unluckily for Anthony Brasfield, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper was also watching.

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Brasfield was charged with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants, etc. under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.

Endangered marine turtle species and birds, such as wood storks and brown pelicans, seek refuge in John U. Lloyd State Park, about 1.5 miles east of the motel.

Between 2008 and 2012, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there were 21 arrests statewide under the rarely used environmental crime statute. The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Other third degree felonies include: aggravated assault, repeated drinking and driving, battery on a law enforcement officer, cocaine possession, and failure to return a rental car.

H/T: Instapundit.

NEXT: IL Police Commander Charged Over Bogus DUI Arrests

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  1. The Baloon thing is stupid, but check out this awesomeness.


    “Top DHS checkpoint refusals”

    1. Ahh, the southwest. I remember those checkpoints with affection.

      I’m so glad I wasn’t an angry libertarian when I lived down there. There’d be R.I.P. above my name…

      1. Look on the bright side: you might have taken a couple of the bastards with you.


    2. “correct me if I’m wrong, did I stumble into Mexico, am I still in the United States?”

      Uhh, no sir, you’re very much in the United States, if you were in Mexico, you’d be free to go about your business without an official asking you your citizenship at random checkpoints.

      1. There are some golden moments in this video. And a huge pile of robotic statist morons.

    3. Okay. That was pretty Fucking awesome.

      1. I like that one near the end, “By what authority can you send me back where I came from?”

        1. I loved the agent who brought back a big binder full immigration law-babble as if this somehow supersedes the Bill of Rights. SETTLE DOWN STUMPY.

          Clearly DHS and the Border Patrol does not have a basic requirement of fundamental constitutional rights for its employees.

          1. (above should read “DHS and the Border Patrol does not have a basic requirement of UNDERSTANDING fundamental constitutional rights for its employees.)

            Stupid preview.

      2. Seconded, thirded, and fourthed.

        1. What, the other amendments mean nothing to you?

          1. If we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that only some are “fundamental.”

    4. Comedy gold!

    5. my friend’s step-mother makes $73 every hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay was $15173 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site… http://www.snag4.com

  2. Between 2008 and 2012, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there were 21 arrests statewide under the rarely used environmental crime statute

    It appears that Bransfield has the right description to allow the application of this “rarely used” environmental crime statute.

    1. An obviously dangerous felon like that is lucky to have surrendered before the Patrolman around to his service rifle.

      1. Imagine had the officer tripped in the parking lot when approaching Brasfield? The charges would be piling up!

  3. I see the problem here the man is clearly black.

    1. When a black or Hispanic man has balloons, there must be drugs in them.

  4. There will be a lot more of this when that’s the only defense we have against drones.

  5. Too bad, man.

    *Virginia* is for lovers!

  6. Who decides what and when pollution is potentially harmful?

  7. Doesn’t this bastard know that we’re running out of helium!?

    Once helium is released into the atmosphere in the form of party balloons or boiling helium, it is lost to the Earth for ever, lost to the Earth for ever.

    1. Well then he’d better invent cold fusion or figure out how to go to the sun and get it, shouldn’t he? God, people are always complaining instead of acting.

      1. To the moon for He-3!

        1. And where will we go when we run out of love? Priorities, people.

          1. We’ll go to Cheap Trick and ask them how they managed not to run out.

            1. God, have you been fucking my mom again or something? Disgusting.

              1. Disgusting.

                Uh-oh someone’s flirting with team red.

              2. Are you asking me or God? Because the answer for me is yes. I can’t answer for God, he’s not answering my drunk dials any more.

    2. It is pretty stupid we are wasting helium on balloons. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

      1. I agree, besides hydrogen balloons are way more fun.

        1. I’m not really aware of any other important uses for helium that other noble gases don’t work for just as well.

          1. High pressure enviroments?

          2. Do other noble gases work as well for GC? I think there are some physics experiments that use it quite a bit, not to mention liquid helium being a convenient and inert cooling material.

            1. Just read the article and apparently it’s used in MRI machines as well, for cooling.

              1. IIRC something like 40+% of helium usage is for MRI machines and < 1% is used for balloons. Also MRI machines make zero effort to conserve it. This does not, of course, stop various busybodies from advocating that we ban helium balloons. For the children.

              2. And what about pebble-bed reactors?

            2. yes, we use argon for GC. You have to use helium for HPLC, though, because the solvent dissolved helium, which used for sparging, will escape out the plastic solvent tubes and prevent the machine from getting the mechanical equivalent of “the bends”.

            3. Helium is excellent for the Donald Duck voice. I don’t know if any other gases can replace it.

      2. Yeah, only the second most prevalent gas in the verse.

  8. Well, since they don’t seem to yet have mistaken two Asian ladies for a single large black man and shoot at them, I guess we can say that Florida law enforcement officers are still the second worst in the nation. Step it up, Chicago PD!

    This shows the folly of claiming that just because an absurd law is on the books don’t worry about it being abused by police or prosecutors. If it’s available to them they can and will use it against you when the mood strikes.

    1. This shows the folly of claiming that just because an absurd law is on the books don’t worry about it being abused by police or prosecutors. If it’s available to them they can and will use it against you when the mood strikes.

      I love how when lawmakers or proponents of a particularly onerous law always defend the top of the slippery slope by saying, “No one would ever enforce it that way…”

  9. If I like dumping all my garbage on your front lawn to impress my girlfriend, is it wrong for you to prevent me from doing so? If I do it by flinging it there with a catapault, does it become okay? How long does my trash have to remain airborne before the fact it’s landing on your property and becoming your mess to clean up ceases to be preventable?

    1. I think the point is that littering shouldn’t be a felony.

      1. Okay, that I agree with, but the impression I got was that the issue was that there was a law against it at all.

        1. Here, scofflaws release BURNING TRASH INTO THE AIR!


          And you know because it’s the Solstice, it’s a bunch of new age liberal environmentalist vegan Wiccan wankers!

          1. Yeah, actually that seems hidesouly dangerous to me. What happens when one of those flaming baloons lands in dry grass or a tree or something and starts a wildfire?

            1. I always wonder about that. But it’s worth the risk. I think those are the coolest things ever.

              1. There was also a time when I was younger an some church group several miles away did one of those giant baloon launch things and a bunch of them came down in my parents yard, and I remember how much of a pain in the ass it was climbing up into trees to untanlge them, picking them out of the hedges, etc.

                I’m sure it was “the coolest thing ever” for the church, but does that mean they have a right to mess up someone else’s property for their amusement?

                1. GET OFF MY LAWN!

            2. That’s in Poland, and I suspect that your definition of what’s hideously dangerous and the Poles’ definition of what is hideously dangerous are wildly different.

        2. Well also the speculation that that law isn’t really why the patrolman brought the hammer down on him.

      2. No, I think the point is that Helium should be illegal.

    2. I don’t know – you still flinging that nasty carbon doxide in my direction you Gaia-befouling monster you?

    3. Oh pulleeeze. Christ almighty. And as far as those sky lanterns go – they are great. I’ve sent up many of them at parties. They don’t just fall out of the sky. There is pretty basic physics involved. They stay up in the air as long as the air inside is warmer than the air outside and they don’t come down until the flame is out – which occurs several thousand feet in the air.

      1. I’ve seen them start a fire in tall grass on a hillside next to a temple in Taiwan. WITH MY OWN EYES!

    4. Usually such a claim would require proof that my trash actually lands on your property and causes harm, and then it is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

      There’s nothing in the law about property rights, btw.

  10. I’d just like to say thank Galt for the rule of law. I mean just imagine living in a world where the cops could arrest people they didn’t like the looks of for no reason whatsoever.

    1. It’s a good thing laws can write and enforce themselves rather than having humans with biases, agendas, and aspirations to power do those things. Otherwise we’d probably be in a bit of a pickle.

  11. Where’s Tulpa to defend this trooper’s righteous indignation?

  12. Another blasphemy law.

    1. What the fuck is a Goldfinger?

      THIS is the proper version.

      God, I miss the 80s. Look at her leather pants…

      1. at least post the German one.

      2. Why the fuck is that in English?

        THIS is the proper version.

        1. Because I’m a muriken and I don’t speak German?

          Damn kids!

          1. they’re practically 2 different songs!

        2. When this song was popular I was dating a girl named Georgia. I used to sing my own snippet version of the chorus to her, which was “99 luftballoons, Georgia is a big baboon.”

          She didn’t care for it one bit.

        3. Ahhhh Nena’s pit hair…

  13. environmental laws are some of the most draconian on the books.

    i’ve responded to burns with fire before, and fire can write a citations in excess of a THOUSAND DOLLARS if the person has any treated, prepared, etc. wood – iow lumber in their burn.

    hazmat laws are kind of whack too. empty a couple of cans of mountain dew into a puddle and you have technically created (ph etc.) a hazmat situation per my instructor in a hazmat incident commander school (4 days of excruciating boredom and technical gobbledygook).

    combine draconian laws with anal troopers (troopers are hella anal) and you get shit like this


    1. Emptying Mountain Dew into a puddle results in a mixture which has a pH somewhere between water’s and Mountain Dew’s, neither of which is hazardous.

      1. im saying that according to my instructor, a body of water with that low ph (high acidity) meets that criteria.

        i have no fucking idea. he just threw it out there, we all laffed and the class went on.

        emptying a 12 pack into a little puddle … extrapolate that out to a pond and enough mtn dew to give the same ph level ot hte pond. if somebody did that, it would be a haz incident, according to him

        1. I can’t imagine Mountain Dew would be injurious to aquatic life. maybe I’ll do an experiment in my brother’s fish tank.

          1. pending animal cruelty charge in…


            1. Supposedly octopuses like Mountain Dew, though it may be that they just like to play with the bottlecaps.

  14. Three felonies a day.

    1. criticizing the govt. without a license, and exposing them to derision, scorn, etc.

      that’s ONE already, mr.

      1. I’m probably at 4 or more. I carry a blood pressure pill in my keychain, so that’s automatically +1 every day.

        1. i would assume florida has some sort of civil infraction littering charge? the trooper could have charged the guy with that, with it’s $50 fine or whatever, not this felony nonsense.

          even if the guy was a complete assmunch to the trooper, you don’t DO this to people. it’s cruel. it’s fricken balloons for pete’s sake.

          1. Maybe they’re looking to get him to plea bargain.

          2. i would assume florida has some sort of civil infraction littering charge?

            Wouldn’t he have to prove that they landed in Florida?

      2. “I don’t agree with you, but I’ll defend to the death your right to imprison me for saying so.”

  15. So that Gawker post about Miss Teen Delaware’s porno? This comment is overflowing with win:

    It feels like only yesterday that a variety of Gawker writers were wringing their hands about how much Seth McFarlane sucked at the Oscars because his fan base is comprised of tedious, buffalo chicken popper-guzzling bros who are happy to live in the shitty suburbs the sort of people who are actually worth socializing with only go to when they have to visit their parents for Thanksgiving, and also because he played to that crowd (that he was hired to bring in in the first place) by making fun of a bunch of millionaire actresses for showing their boobs in the movies (as it was totally relevant to their character’s development and also because suburban bros 18-45 are the demographic everybody chases and they basically only go to movies to see the boobs of hot women they’ll never get to sleep with and watch white guys blowing stuff up.)

    1. continued

      And here we all are, reading an article about some 18-year-old former foster child who had sex with a stranger on camera, so that she could make rent or whatever. And now, because she’s made herself available to be adjudicated by dudes on the internet, she’ll no longer get to put on her strip mall boutique ball gowns and hair extensions and get adjudicated by a panel of middle-aged-and-hating-it former beauty queens and gay men with bad veneers (which was apparently something she loved for whatever reason). And you posted all about it, amateur porn link and all, for the tedious, buffalo chicken popper-guzzling bros who make up an ever-increasing percentage of the readership/comment section of New Gawker to fap-sneer to because that brings in page views.

      Whatever, I guess it is what it is, but it seems to me that if you’re going to take a fairly consistent editorial stand about the sort of mean-spirited, lowest-common-denominator provocation that you accuse Seth McFarlane of engaging in, maybe wait a whole business week before doing the exact same thing.

      1. Ouch. Just…ouch.

      2. Any of the other comments respond to this? I really like the adult disappointment voice he uses in the last sentence.

        1. Generally positive:

          Calling Gawker out on their BullShit? And the comment isn’t buried??? Must’ve done this before the happy hour cleared out their bull pens.

          Yeah, I’d actually argue that what Seth MacFarlane did, or everything he’s ever done, isn’t as scuzzy or bro-ish as this. Way to go, Gawker Media.

          This is the best critique of Gawker Media that I have ever read.

          Also “Uh… damn…”, “nice”, “+this”, “You nailed that perfectly” accompanied by this video and “BRAVO!” accompanied by this animation.

      3. Why doesn’t that guy have his own website? Whoever wrote that comment is infinitely more interesting than anyone who writes for any of the Gawker websites.

        1. He must be a regular reader of Gawker so I don’t know…

  16. Failure to return a rental car = grand theft auto.

  17. This story converged two of my pet peeves (moron, control-freak cops and enviro-wacko tree-hugging nutcases) into one amazingly stupid incident.

    What is the name of the idiot state trooper? Truly, such titans of government reasoning should be publicly honored for their awe-inspiring intellect.

  18. Its idiot cops liek this I just LOVE to hear about in the news that get clipped in the line of duty!


  19. Every day, it just gets a little more ridiculous.

  20. The fine is $100, unless from a road or highway, in which the fine is up to $500.

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