A Falmouth man faces multiple charges after police say he sped his vehicle through a parking lot at a Yarmouth beach Wednesday afternoon, intentionally running over a flock of seagulls.
Brandin Botelho, 22, was charged with animal cruelty and operating a vehicle negligently.
According to a statement released Friday by Yarmouth police, several witnesses at Seagull Beach saw a 2015 black Honda Civic drive at a high speed through the parking lot toward a group of more than 25 seagulls around 5 p.m. Wednesday. Police said two of the seagulls were killed by the vehicle and several more were injured. The witnesses included several families who were “very upset” about the incident, police said.
A witness followed the vehicle out of the parking lot and recorded its license plate number, which police used to identify Botelho.
When Yarmouth police spoke with Botelho that night, he admitted that he had driven his vehicle to Seagull Beach around 5 p.m., according to the statement, but denied that he had driven into the flock of seagulls. When police told him that there were surveillance cameras installed at the beach, Botelho said that he drove by a group of seagulls that scattered into the air, but insisted that he did not hit any of them.
Yarmouth police reviewed the surveillance tapes on Thursday morning, after obtaining them from the town’s Department of Natural Resources.
The statement said the tapes show Botelho’s vehicle “rapidly accelerating” through the lot and into the group of seagulls. The tape “shows that he went out of his way to hit the birds,” the statement said. Police did not offer a suspected motive for the incident.
Botelho is expected to be arraigned in Barnstable District Court.
Jacob Carozza can be reached at email@example.com.