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Woman accused of disturbing sea turtle nest held without bond after trying to leave US

Yaquin Lu, 41, claims she didn't know she was forbidden to leave country

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A woman accused of disturbing a sea turtle nest earlier this month on Miami Beach was rearrested Monday after trying to leave the U.S.

Yaquin Lu, 41, who is a Chinese citizen, appeared in court Tuesday, at which time she claimed she did not know she wasn't allowed to leave the country.

Regardless, a Miami-Dade County judge ordered that Lu be held without bond as she awaits trial on a charge of harassing a marine turtle/eggs.

According to Miami Beach police, Lu was spotted by officers and bystanders June 15 crossing into an area that had been closed off with wooden stakes and yellow tape around the perimeter of the nest.

Police said Lu used one of the wooden stakes to jab at the eggs and then walked over them with her bare feet.

Officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were called in and determined that none of the eggs were damaged.

Sea turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 and nesting season on Miami Beach runs from May 1 through Oct. 31.

CLICK HERE for more information on the protection of sea turtles.

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Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.