PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Close to a year after protesters blocked SeaWorld’s float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, a judge Thursday dismissed a case against the final defendant.
Amanda Slyter walked out of court Thursday free of any charges in connection with claims that she along with more than a dozen PETA protesters disrupted the parade last January by blocking SeaWorld’s float on Colorado Boulevard.
“I’m very, very pleased with the result,” Slyter told KCAL9’s Greg Mills. “In that moment you think it’s me risking an arrest but these orcas some of them have suffered at SeaWorld for longer than I’ve been alive.”
All 15 protesters were arrested and booked on a charge of interfering with a special event.
Slyter’s attorney told Mills 14 of the protesters agreed to a plea bargain and paid a fine of about $150. Slyter was the only hold-out and wanted her day in court.
“My family was very proud of me and they were not surprised at all when they found out about this,” she said.
Thursday at Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena, the prosecutor told Mills the case against Slyter was dismissed due to an unavailable witness.
In response, SeaWorld sent CBS2 the following statement, which read in part: “It is shameful that PETA attempted to disrupt the parade to advance its extreme agenda. We are proud of what we do for the killer whales and all the other animals in our care. SeaWorld, not PETA, is the real animal welfare organization.”
SeaWorld says the organization had a float in the parade last year in celebration of the park’s 50th anniversary. The organization has no plans to have a float in this year’s parade.