A 21-year-old Western Springs man who tried to whack a seagull to death with an umbrella pole on a Florida beach is charged with animal cruelty, police said.
Ryan Lesle told police he used the pole to try to shoo away a flock of seagulls but struck and injured one. Then he beat the lame bird with the pole to "take it out of its misery," according to the police report.
A lifeguard saw the beating and called police. Lesle ran from Clearwater Beach, according to Bradenton.com, but then returned and admitted what he did to police.
Lesle was taken to the Pinellas County jail Thursday and released on a $5,000 bond. A veterinarian euthanized the bird.
The gulls typically descend on the beach because beach-goers often feed the birds.
"I could say it a hundred times over, do not feed the birds, do not feed the birds," Barbara Walker with the Clearwater Audubon Society told Bradenton.com.
Killing a wild bird is illegal in Florida.