Lobbing Lobsters: Well-Known Skateboarder In Hot Water After Allegedly Breaking Tank And Killing Lobsters

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.28.50 AMSkateboarder Shawn Powers has started a firestorm with a video showing him breaking open a lobster tank and throwing the lobsters against a brick wall. Powers comes across as a senseless thug (who by the way cannot tell the difference between a lobster and a crab) as he smashes the tank on videotape, declaring “I’ll break it, and I’ll take the f–kin’ crabs out.”

Powers takes four strikes at the tank to break it open. The business is A-Wah II in New York City’s Chinatown, which now appears closed.

What is amazing is that some have defended Powers and said that the lobsters were meant to be eaten anyway. Even if you disregard the cruelty of throwing lobsters against a war, there is also that little matter of committing a senseless crime.

Powers is a 22-year-old professional skateboarder from Queens who is sponsored by London-based Palace Skateboards. I presume that Palace Skateboards will drop Powers unless these reports have wrongly identified him. I would also expect Powers to be charged with property destruction and cruelty to animals. While the value of the lobsters may be low for the property offense, the tank and clean up is not.

What do you think that appropriate punishment should be? Misdemeanor or felony? Should it include jail time?

23 thoughts on “Lobbing Lobsters: Well-Known Skateboarder In Hot Water After Allegedly Breaking Tank And Killing Lobsters”

  1. After reading the ‘thug’s’ bio as an ‘artist’ this could all have been a performance piece. Accepting that the ‘artist’ recompensed the store owner for all damages and perhaps a tad to boot, this art work then does walk a thin line and creates a precedent either way it is viewed by the law. If the ‘artist/thug’ skates then that leaves the door open more widely for others. If he is nailed then, well?

  2. Oh, look, “thug” used correctly in a sentence. I’m so glad we haven’t excised it from the English language, in the thankless effort to dumb down the lexicon so no one gets offended.

    Not only was this a senseless waste of lobster, but tanks like that are so expensive. Plus there’s the heating and filtration system. And now they have a huge hole in their wall where they can be robbed.

    He didn’t just buy a lobster dinner and then smash it, wasting his own food. He stole hundreds of dollars in lobster, killed them like a cruel boy would tear the wings off a butterfly, and then caused thousands of dollars in vandalism, leaving the establishment open to more crimes. We kill animals to eat, for protection, to protect our livestock, and to keep an overpopulation in check, and we are ethically required to be humane about it. But killing just for fun, for no reason, is senseless. Plus crushing their shells would cause a lingering, painful death.

    Boiling lobsters alive has always creeped me out. It takes minutes for them to finally die. I wonder if the CrustaStun electric chair for lobsters ever got off the ground.


  3. Our Canadian friend, a blind liberal on most every topic, is a fascist when it comes to “locking up” or “waxing” criminals. I find that interesting. This sh!tbird will not be ‘locked up for 3 years’ on this offense. Nor, should he be. I’m tough on violent crime toward people, not lobsters. I do like lobsters…w/ drawn butter.

  4. @Tyger Gilbert
    1, January 7, 2016 at 9:23 am
    “What sort of moron breaks into a store to smash a tank of lobsters and kill them? (Not intending to eat them.) The same sort of moron who considers skateboarding a sport, I suppose.”

    Hear, hear. Just because the US imprisons more people than any other nation on earth (most of them for non-violent drug crimes), that doesn’t exempt its criminal justice system from the duty to arrest and imprison more whites than blacks because of the cultural pathology of whites, such as using using cocaine, for example, rather than crack.

    I may be mistaken, but it’s my impression that there are many more white skateboarders (another cultural pathology) than black ones, and the only reason Powers may not be punished to the fullest extent of the law is if he is a mulatto, as pictures of him I’ve since looked up seem to suggest. Only then might he be afforded the benefit of the doubt, such as that he may have been trying to break up a fight among the lobsters or was actually just trying to set them free.

    To demonstrate just how far our criminal justice system has to go in this regard, note in the real-world example linked to below, what happens when a white man breaks the law in plain view of a police officer, yet is not arrested because a black man sentimentally intervenes on his behalf,thereby enabling the white man’s criminal behavior:

  5. misdemeanor conviction, no time, restitution over. just another act of vandalism. yawn.

  6. Ken, our prisons are disproportionately populated by african americans already. What you are suggesting is that there should be even more of them in prison. That seems like an awful racist comment to me.

    It has been shown in a number of studies that people who abuse animals have a greatly increased probability of abusing other people in the future; in other words, animal abuse is a strong indicator that you will abuse people. In such cases, I would support throwing the proverbial book at him.

  7. The guy needs attention. The question is whether to try and get it by locking him up for at least three years or spending the money to try and sort out the crossed wires. His head may have hit too many curbs.

    The proper punishment part would be to clean the tank, from the inside, after the elastic bands are removed from the claws of the lobsters.

  8. bam, Superb comment w/ good facts. Based on your research, combining my experience working for a prosecutors office, he will probably be charged w/ that Class D Felony, and be offered a plea on a Class A or B Misdemeanor.

  9. What sort of moron breaks into a store to smash a tank of lobsters and kill them? (Not intending to eat them.) The same sort of moron who considers skateboarding a sport, I suppose. This seems like jist a case of breaking and entering and destroying property — looting — and 5 years or so in prison would not be an unwarrented penalty. If he does something like it after he gets out, execute him. Criminal minds with criminal intent are only a cancer on humanity that should be surgically removed.

  10. This man or thug, if you prefer, seems like a violent individual. His next victim, if he is not properly punished, will likely be a human being. He clearly views himself as privileged. He views other people’s property as his for the taking. He should be charged with the felony.

  11. “I’m not sure you can be cruel to lobsters”

    Here’s the way you can tell if you are being cruel: If you attack a living being and they try to get away, that is because they are feeling fear and/or pain. Lobsters do that. All animals do. No doubt you have been cruel to many of them, since you did not know that.

    1. Doglover – it is my understanding, I do not know this from personal experience, that you cook lobster by dropping them live in a pot of boiling water. They do not have much of a chance to escape or show fear. So, again, I do not think you can be cruel to lobsters.

  12. Paul C

    Why are you classifying this as a misdemeanor when it appears to meet the elements required to be considered 2nd degree criminal mischief, which is a felony? BTW, unless the shop and/or restaurant is a not-for-profit organization, I don’t believe that he could perform any mandated community service there, even if it consisted of cleaning the tanks. πŸ™‚

  13. I am not sure you can be cruel to lobsters. So, I am going with the property damage, which is a misdemeanor. 200 hours of community service at Ah-Wah II keeping the lobster tank clean.

  14. @JT
    “What do you think that appropriate punishment should be? Misdemeanor or felony? Should it include jail time?”

    I don’t know what’s likely to happen in this case because I can’t tell from the video whether Powers is black or white, which will be the determining factor.

    If he’s white, he’ll likely be charged with a felony and given 5-7, and if he’s black, he’ll most probably be charged with a misdemeanor and be placed on probation or possibly required to do community service.

    Dave Chappelle explains how the US criminal justice system works in this regard (favoring black people) in the following sketch:


  15. Requiring a psych evaluation and a drug test as part of some pre-sentence investigation wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  16. Nick

    I believe that according to New York state law, where this incident transpired, criminal mischief in the 2nd degree occurs when an act is intentionally committed to damage someone else’s property and said damage is valued at $1,500 or more. While I don’t know the exact value to replace the fish tank, I suspect that it will be somewhat pricey, so an estimated value of at least $1,500 is not an unreasonable sum. That would make his crime a Class D felony, which carries with it a potential punishment of up to seven years in prison.

Comments are closed.