Man’s romantic balloon gesture results in felony charge in Florida

Anthony Brasfield, 40, might have thought he had master-minded one of the most romantic stunts ever for his girlfriend, but when the state troopers showed up, he probably had doubts.

What was intended to be a sweet gesture might now land the Florida man in jail.

Brasfield was with his girlfriend, Shaquina Baxter, in the parking lot of a Motel 6 in Dania Beach on February 17th, when he released 12 heart-shaped Mylar balloons into the sky.

While the lovebirds watched the balloons soar in the name of love, a nearby Florida Highway Patrol trooper watched the balloons soar in the name of environmental crime.

Also see: Man’s marriage proposal goes terribly wrong: Police, machine guns and a lost ring

Under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act, Brasfield was charged with a third-degree felony. He now faces up to a maximum of five years in prison.

Because a number of endangered bird species live in John U. Lloyd State Park, about 1.5 miles from the motel, Brasfield was charged with pollution to harm animals, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, only 21 people were charged under the little-used statute between 2008 and 2012.

Also see: Boyfriend shaves head for his girlfriend fighting cancer

Jenny Erikson of The Stir doubts Brasfield will end up in jail.

"This whole scenario is ridiculous, and I’m thinking it's likely that Officer No Love got dumped over Valentine’s Day," she writes. "Seriously, how hard would it be to give the couple a warning and inform them of the law? They obviously weren't intentionally trying to wreak havoc on the environment, and there's no proof that they even did in this case. They were just trying to share a romantic moment."

The threat of prison will certainly keep Brasfield from making environmentally irresponsible gestures of love again.

For the sake of his girlfriend, however, at least he didn't express his love by tattooing his name on her face.