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Maryland man arrested for tackling brown pelican in Florida

OCEAN CITY, Md. — A Maryland man seen on video tackling a federally protected pelican in Florida has been arrested on animal cruelty charges.

Maryland State Police said in a Friday release that 31-year-old William Hunter Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Md. 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 that the charges amount to five misdemeanors. Hardesty is being held as a fugitive in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.

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Reports didn’t include comment from Hardesty, who is originally from Anne Arundel County.

Associated Press