A Chinese woman accused of "jabbing" a sea turtle nest with a wooden stake and "stomping" on the protected habitat in Miami Beach was back behind bars Tuesday after she allegedly tried to leave the country.
Yaquin Lu, 41, was arrested earlier this month on a felony charge of molesting marine turtles or eggs. Her attorney confirmed that she had tried to leave the United States but said she was unaware that she wasn't allowed to leave the country.
Lu appeared in court Tuesday and was booked back into jail, where she was being held without bond, records showed.
According to an arrest report, Lu was "seen by officers and bystanders with one of the wooden stakes in her hand jabbing at the sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest with her bare feet." The sea turtle nest was closed off with a double perimeter consisting of wooden stakes and yellow tape, as well as a "Do Not Disturb Sea Turtle Nest" sign.
Miami Beach Police officials said the eggs weren't damaged. Sea turtles, their nests and hatchlings are protected by the 1973 U.S. Endangered Species Act and a Florida Statute. Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 until Oct. 31.