Video: Florida Man Charged for Diving in Bass Pro Fish Tank

This article comes from the Bent Fishing Podcast’s “Fish News” segment, where hosts Joe Cermele and Miles Nolte go head-to-head to find and report the most interesting and amusing fishy stories across sources far and wide—from respected scientific journals to trashy tabloids.

Rest easy, Florida—Daniel Armendariz, the man who took a dive into the Gulf Coast Bass Pro Shop’s fish tank in May 2020 has finally turned himself in. He was on the lam for almost a year.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. It just kinda happened,” Armendariz told reporters. But the video footage posted to his Facebook page seems to contradict that statement because someone was clearly at the ready with a camera.

Armendariz Dive

The social media post allowed law enforcement to identify Armendariz and issue a warrant on trespassing charges. He was arrested on July 1, 2020, for threatening to shoot someone at a Days Inn.

Police found him with a pump-action shotgun and more than 200 shells in a vehicle. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, “Armendariz resisted being handcuffed and, when finally detained, began banging his head and feet against the doors of the patrol vehicle.” This incident added a resisting arrest charge to his docket.

Daniel Armendariz

Following the July arrest, 28-year-old Armendariz decided to flee the state. After failing to appear in court in January and February, the judge ordered two bench warrants for his arrest.

Armendariz recently returned to Florida and decided to turn himself in. With the help of his Fort Myers attorney, Spencer Cordell, he will face the music for his stunt.

“We will take care of these warrants,” Cordell said. “We’ll probably just go in and figure it out from there.”

While on the surface it may appear to be a harmless prank, the Gulf Coast Bass Pro Shop reportedly spent $3,000 on decontaminating the tank after the plunge. The shop took the incident very seriously in an effort for the dive to not be sensationalized or become some sort of viral challenge.

“Our stores host more than 200 million visitors annually and provide a safe, fun experience for families who share our respect for wildlife,” Bass Pro Shops said in a statement. “This incident is illegal, dangerous, and highly discouraged. We work with law enforcement to investigate all individuals who personally attempt or are involved with such activities.”

This wasn’t Armendariz’s first run-in with the law. According to Lee County court records, he has been arrested more than two dozen times in the last decade. These incidents include possession of alligators, fishing for stone crab out of season, several instances of fishing without a license, possession of undersized snook, and more.

The four alligators were found in a bathtub at his home and were released by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission employees. Apparently, Armendariz likes to be in close quarters with wildlife, regardless of repercussions or responsibility.

That's pure Florida man stuff.

To catch all the Fish News stories and so much more, listen to the full Bent show here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Kalon O Blackout Spinning Reel
Save this product
13 Fishing
$79.99
At home both in open water and in the frozen tundra, 13 Fishing Kalon O Spinning Reels are performance-proven and tested by the most rugged and rowdy anglers we know.
Shop Now
MeatEater Branded Yeti Hopper M30
Save this product
YETI
$299.99
Whether you're into suds, brewskis, seltzers, or vino, if it comes in a can or bottle and is best served cold, the Hopper M30 is the ticket.
Shop Now
Mermaid's Trident Zesty Seafood Blend
Save this product
Spiceology
$9.99
A bright citrus-based blend that is balanced with earthy notes of smokey chardonnay and mild heat to round it out. This unique combination is incredibly versatile, perfectly pairs with your latest catch, fresh garden veggies, or atop roasted potatoes.
Shop Now
Inception Baitcast Reel
Save this product
13 Fishing
$120.00
A lightweight body and super low-profile design provide incredible comfort during long days on the water.
Shop Now
Omen Black Spinning Rod
Save this product
13 Fishing
$130.00
Japanese 36 Ton Toray Graphite , 4A Portuguese Cork Handle, ALPS 316 Stainless Steel Guides with Zirconia Inserts.
Shop Now
LoadOut GoBox 30
Save this product
YETI
LoadOut GoBox 30
The MeatEater crew uses our GoBoxes for storing all kinds of gear, from ammo and range hardware to outdoor kitchen essentials, dog accessories, fishing tackle, and gear, camera equipment, truck tools, and medical supplies. Why buy expensive hunting and outdoor gear only to store it in a cheap plastic bin with a lid that doesn't fit correctly? Elevate your gear protection and organization with this waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and critter...
Save this article