A 75-year-old Holmes Beach man faces felony cruelty to an animal charge after what police say was a deadly attack on a great white heron.
Laurie Pardee, 671 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, was arrested June 16 after allegedly shooting the heron with a .22 caliber handgun from his porch.
According to police, Pardee shot the heron, but it did not die. Pardee then allegedly began beating the bird with a net and ultimately stomped it to death before throwing it into Tampa Bay.
Three witnesses saw the incident and contacted police, who noted that Pardee initially admitted to the incident. The bird’s body was recovered.
The Holmes Beach Police Department reported that a representative of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission identified the bird as a great white heron.
During the investigation, Joyce Parker, 76, who was at the scene, also was arrested for felony tampering with evidence.
According to the report, Parker attempted to hide the handgun from police by placing it in a closet under some linen. Police allege that Parker “made several false statements” during the investigation.
Pardee was charged with felony cruelty to an animal and misdemeanor discharging a firearm within city limits, and booked into the Manatee County jail. Pardee posted $1,500 bond the same day.
Parker was charged with felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor obstruction. She initially was held overnight on $1,500 bond, but was released on her own recognizance June 17, according to the MCSO website.
Parker and Pardee were scheduled for arraignment July 13, at 9 a.m.