Steve-O sentenced to 30 days in jail for anti-SeaWorld stunt

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 07, 2015 5:30 PM

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Stephen "Steve-O" Glover, stunt-performing star of the "Jackass" movies, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to charges he illegally climbed a Los Angeles construction crane and set off fireworks to protest against SeaWorld, prosecutors said.

A judge sentenced Steve-O, who posted video online of his Aug. 9 stunt in Hollywood, to 30 days in jail and three years of probation, Frank Mateljan, spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said in an email.

Steve-O, who has admitted struggling at times with drug abuse and mental illness, focused his ire on SeaWorld after the 2013 release of the "Blackfish" documentary that decried the theme park's practice of keeping orcas in captivity and making them perform.

He has called for the orcas to be freed.

Steve-O pleaded no contest to charges of illegal use of fireworks and trespassing, and is scheduled to turn himself in on Dec. 9 to start serving his jail sentence, Mateljan said.

In a post on Instagram, Steve-O displayed a cartoon of himself in an orange jump suit standing behind bars, with an orca in the next cell.

"I've become a clean and sober, dog-rescuing vegan, I must say I'm ready to go to jail - not just because it will bring so much attention to the plight of orcas in captivity but because it's nice to let people know I haven't lost my edge," Steve-O wrote in the post.

The stunt angered emergency officials, who called it a waste of their resources.

Firefighters had placed air cushions under the crane in an attempt to break Steve-O's fall should he plummet to the ground, but he ended up climbing down.

As a condition of probation, the 41-year-old Steve-O has been ordered to stay out of the Hollywood area where he staged his protest unless he is driving through, Mateljan said.

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He has also been prohibited from participating in a "staged fight in public, feigned medical emergency" or any other non-permitted stunt in Los Angeles County that is likely to draw police or firefighters to a perceived emergency, Mateljan said.

Last year, Steve-O was cited with a violation of California's vehicle code for altering a SeaWorld exit sign on a San Diego highway to read: "SeaWorld Sucks."

His sentencing comes a day before a scheduled vote by the California Coastal Commission on a request by SeaWorld San Diego to expand its orca tanks.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)