Yaqun Lu, 41, was seen by Miami Beach witnesses and police on Saturday, "attacking the nest of sea turtles" with a wooden stake and "stomping the nest with bare feet", according to a relative affidavit. his arrest.
The area had been closed to the public with yellow tape and a sign stating "Do not disturb the nest of sea turtles," says the affidavit.
Lu, a Chinese citizen who gave the police a personal address in Michigan, faces a charge of molestation or harassment of sea turtle eggs, according to court records online.
The court records indicate that Lu is represented by a public defender. CNN was not able to reach the Public Defender's office for comments.
According to the Miami Beach website, a number of species of sea turtles are protected under the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida law, and it is illegal to touch or harm them, as well as their eggs.
Miami Beach serves as nesting habitat for three species of sea turtles – the loggerhead turtle, the green turtle and the lute – between April and early November, according to its website.
"Fortunately," Miami Beach police said, "it looks like the eggs have not been damaged."