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Mental capacity comes into question for bird killer

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Pardee

Parker

The 75-year-old Holmes Beach man arrested June 16 for shooting and then stomping to death a great egret was taken back into custody June 28 on a mandatory Baker Act.

Police allege Laurie Pardee shot the egret from his porch with a .22 caliber handgun, but the bird did not die. He proceeded to beat the bird with a net and then stomped on the bird, causing death. He then disposed of the bird by dumping it in Tampa Bay.

He was charged with felony cruelty to an animal, misdemeanor discharging a firearm within city limits, and later charged by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for unlawful taking of a migratory bird.

Pardee bonded out of jail the same day. Holmes Beach Police Department reports document that Pardee went to the police department numerous times over the next few days in an attempt to retrieve the gun used in the shooting.

On June 20, police returned to Pardee’s home, 671 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, to assist the Florida Department of Children and Families. DCF was responding to Pardee’s unusual behavior and suspected a medical condition was the cause.

Pardee told police he had several guns in his residence, but did not feel he was going to hurt himself or anyone else.

He was asked to voluntarily surrender his firearms to police for safekeeping. Pardee surrendered two pistols and a rifle.

After being cited by FWC June 26, Pardee went to the HBPD offices to accuse FWC officers of stealing his jewelry.

DCF wanted Pardee to undergo a medical exam and he did visit a doctor, a friend of Pardee who admitted to DCF he did not give Pardee a full exam, and “wanted nothing to do with it” according to the report.

Pardee is a retired physician.

On June 28, Pardee was issued a medical Baker Act to undergo a medical exam. He was taken by EMS to the hospital, but the results of that exam have not been released.

Over the course of two weeks after the shooting, Pardee has told police he does not understand what the big deal is over a bird.

During the investigation, he told FWC he was a retired Vietnam War veteran, told police he retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and told another officer he was a doctor for 30 years.

Reports indicate a suspicion of diminished mental capacity.

A Baker Act can be initiated by law enforcement agencies and mental health professionals if it is determined a person represents a danger to themselves or others. The person can be held up to 72 hours to undergo observation and an exam.

Also arrested June 16 was Pardee’s live-in girlfriend Joyce Parker, 76.

According to the police report, Parker gave several false statements during the shooting investigation. She was charged with obstruction.

Both Pardee and Parker are scheduled for arraignment 9 a.m. Friday, July 13.

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