How NOT to dress for your manatee sport-humping court date

by Joey deVilla on June 21, 2014

definitely floridaThe video above is a copy of one shot last year and posted on Facebook. It stars Taylor Blake Martin, age 22 and from Alabama (that should be your first warning that something’s amiss), and Seth Andrew Stephenson, age 22, of Rockledge, Florida (and therein lies your second warning).

In the video, which was shot in Brevard County, Martin and Stephenson lured an adult and youngling manatee close to a dock with water from a hose — they love fresh water and find the cool stuff from hoses to be a treat — and once within range, Martin jumped on them.

When commenters called out Martin and Stephenson on their mistreatment of a gentle animal on the endangered species list, Martin replied with this comment, in the process creating the sobriquet by which he’ll be known for a long time:

hahaha … in my debue [sic] as tayla the manatee slaya … ready to cannonball on every manatee living yewwww.

The incident would’ve like gone unpunished had these two cases of apparent arrested development not posted their mindless manatee molestation movie online. However, they did, and when officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saw the video, they sought to bring the overgrown Beavis and Butt-Head to trial, which took place on Wednesday.

(Should he later on decide to become part of a trap act, he should go by  “Tayla the Manatee Slaya”. It’s got that perfect mix of exaggerated menace and clear lameness that a rapper who’s not from “the streets” needs in a stage name.)

If you ever go to trial, especially as a defendant, your lawyer will typically advise you to dress up. Here’s how Tayla the Manatee Slaya dressed for court:

"Tayla the Manatee Slaya" walks to his court case in a white dress shirt, a '70's era wide white tie, brown golf belt, and baby blue slacks.

“I’m not Dirk Diggler, but I might be his stunt double.”
Click the photo to see it at full size.

If his slacks look familiar, it’s because you saw the film Boogie Nights:

"DIRK DIGGLA, YEEEEWWWW!": Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights strikes a pose in a men's store in a very '70s shirt and baby blue slacks.

Between the very clear video evidence against them and Diggler’s — oops, I mean Martin’s — attire:

  • Martin was fined $3,000 and sentenced to 175 hours of community services and 2 years of probation.
  • Presumably because he only recorded the event and didn’t actually sport-hump the manatees, Stephenson was fined a smaller amount — $2,000 — but is under the same probation and must perform the same community service as Martin.

Both must also post an apology and statement of remorse on Facebook. I get the feeling we’re going to see more court-ordered Facebook posts in the future.

These guys got lucky — had the manatees been injured or killed, they could’ve been sentenced to up to a year in prison.

Recommended reading

Side-by-side comparison of two mug shots, one with the subject in hoodlum clothing and tattoos showing, the other with the same person in a suit.

Whether you’re going to court for manatee-jumping or for other reasons — perhaps you’re a plaintiff, a witness, or a juror, you might want to consult these guides on appropriate attire and avoid Martin’s mistakes:

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