Man accused of grabbing swan by neck

Jan. 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said they arrested a man accused of grabbing a swan by the neck at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.

Orlando police said John Wynne was arrested Tuesday after allegedly grabbing the bird by the neck at the lake and he was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and grand theft, WOFL-TV, Orlando, reported.

Investigators said bicycle officers spotted Wynne choking the Australian black swan, named Ruffles, and carrying it several feet by its neck, the Orlando Sentinel reported. They said he dropped the bird when he saw the officers.

Police said Wynne was taken to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bond.

Sheila Bolin, chief executive officer of The Regal Swan Foundation, formerly served as caretaker for the Lake Eola swans and was called by police to assess the bird's injuries. She said Ruffles appeared to be eating but refused to let any humans come near him.

"We couldn't catch the bird that night," Bolin said. "But the head and neck were a wreck. He (Ruffles) didn't want anything to do with people."

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