Kids dangle from meat hooks for fun
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Kids dangle from meat hooks for fun
Reuters/ July 18, 2004

MIAMI (Reuters) - Law enforcement officials in the Florida Keys are mystified by a bizarre new pastime -- young people dangling themselves from meat hooks on a popular sandbar.

A U.S. Coast Guard ( news - web sites ) spokeswoman said on Sunday that the Monroe County sheriff's office and Coast Guard were called on July 12 to the sandbar off Whale Harbour in Islamorada where locals say wild behaviour is becoming a tradition.

They found that five young people had erected a bamboo tripod and hung meat hooks from it. A young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders.

According to a Coast Guard video, she did not seem to mind the hooks.

Lieutenant Tom Brazil of the Coast Guard told the Key West Citizen newspaper that a young man, who also had hooks embedded in his heavily pierced and tattooed skin, assured him the group was "just enjoying the afternoon."

A Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami said the group had clearly done this before and intended to post photos of themselves on a Web site dedicated to "body modification" -- the ritualistic piercing of the body.

"It looked like a daily routine for them," she said, adding that the hooks had been inserted in the skin in a professional manner and had drawn very little blood."

"As long as they weren't creating any kind of ruckus or riot within a crowd they really weren't breaking any laws."

The Coast Guard passed the video on to federal justice authorities but no further action will be taken.

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