Maryland man arrested for tackling brown pelican in Florida
OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man seen tackling a federally protected pelican on video has been arrested on animal cruelty charges out of Florida.
Maryland State Police said in a Friday release that 31-year-old William Hunter Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at Florida’s Key West Historic Seaport. The video was taken March 5 and posted on his Facebook page March 8.
Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward told The Miami Herald the charges amount to five misdemeanors. Hardesty is being held as a fugitive in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.
Reports didn’t include comment from Hardesty, who’s originally from Anne Arundel County.
A previous version of this report incorrectly reported Hardesty’s age as 21, not 31.