CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Teens claim cops in Carolina Beach ordered them to drag a dying, eight-foot tiger shark on shore Monday night. Police came out today saying that never happened
The shark covered in flies and left to decompose Tuesday in a maintenance yard has been buried. Meanwhile, Carolina Beach Police Chief William Younginer talked to his officers who were working Monday night when the shark was dragged up on the beach.
"Once the first officers arrived on scene, the shark was out of the water and the shark never went back to the water," Younginer said, but that's not what the teens who tried to save the shark said. Evan Pye, 15 told WWAY Wednesday he sticks by his word. He says police officers ordered him and his friends to drag the protected species from shallow water onto the beach and let it die.
"They're like, 'Bring it up right now,' and started yelling at us and stuff like that and telling us that they're going to arrest us and stuff like that," Pye said Tuesday.
Younginer says the officers knew the shark had been out of the water too long and wasn't going to survive. He says witnesses told him the shark had a hook in its mouth. Because its mouth was covered in blood, experts at the Fort Fisher Aquarium think the shark was caught by a fisherman and put up such a big fight, it was tired and may have come close to shore to die.
Younginer says he now knows what to do if this happens in the future.
"We found an individual at UNCW that said if we call him, he will come out, because he'd like to study them even if the shark is dead," Younginer said. He said he's going to teach his officers how to handle the situation better next time. "We try to be sensitive to people's desires and needs and think about animals, because we have other animals that get hit and die or are dying, and we try to take care of all of them, but sometimes you can't save all of them, and that shark was one of them that wasn't going to be saved."
Younginer said he wishes his officers had gotten the shark off the beach and buried it a lot sooner. As of now, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries says it is not going to investigate the incident.