Miami-Dade County

2nd Arrest Made After Video Showed Popped Balloons Being Dumped Into Biscayne Bay

Martina Gaspoz, 26, and David S. Torres-Bocanegra, 29, arrested in balloon case

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A second suspect has been arrested after a viral video showed people popping balloons on a yacht and dumping them into Biscayne Bay.

Miami-Dade Police officials said Friday that 26-year-old Martina Gaspoz was arrested on a charge of willful disregard for the environment.

David S. Torres-Bocanegra, 29, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of reckless disregard for the environment.

Torres-Bocanegra was booked into jail and released on bond Thursday night. Gaspoz was being held Friday on $5,000 bond, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

Miami-Dade Corrections
David Torres-Bocanegra, Martina Gaspoz

In addition to the arrest, 10 civil citations were issued to other individuals involved, totaling over $25,000, police said.

The cellphone video was posted on social media Tuesday by MMG Outboard Division, a group who says they "pride ourselves on protecting and spreading awareness on the beautiful waters we get to call home."

It showed two people on a yacht popping balloons and tossing them into the water near the Bayshore Landing Marina near Coconut Grove.

Tom Rivas, who rented the boat so he could propose to his girlfriend, said he had no idea the balloons were being dumped into the water.

"First off, I want to put my heart out and say how important it is to protect our environment," Rivas said in an Instagram post.

NBC 6's Julia Bagg has more on the incident caught on camera near a Coconut Grove marina.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said balloons can be mistaken for food by sea turtles and other marine animals, and if eaten, can lead to internal injury, starvation, and death.

Releases of 10 or more balloons are illegal in Florida.

“As a community, we share the responsibility to protect our environment," Miami-Dade Police Director George A. Perez said in a statement. "I am extremely proud of our Illegal Dumping Unit, for their thorough investigation and swift conclusion to this case."

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