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Crime News Breaking News

Florida Man Allegedly Kicked Swans 'As Hard As Possible' At Park

He was reportedly practicing karate at a park when he began abusing the swans.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A Florida man ran around an Orlando lake known for its swan feeding and kicked the birds "as hard as possible," witnesses said.

Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, practicing karate at a park at Lake Eola Thursday when he began abusing the swans, the Orlando Sentinel reported. One witness, who reported seeing Mantella kick two swans in the head so hard that they fell over, said Mantella practiced his kicks before going after the birds, according to WESH-TV in Orlando.

Another witness said she saw Mantella diverge from the park’s pathway to go after the swans, and that he laughed after he saw her reaction to his bird abuse. Mantella’s rampage wasn’t limited to just swans — he also kicked a duck that appeared to be sleeping at the time, according WFTV9 in Orlando.

“I guess he was (practicing) karate kicks or something and … he just kicked it right in the head,” one witness, David Camp, told WFTV. “And I was like, what was this guy doing?”

Police arrested Mantella at the park without incident. They also reportedly tried to no avail to locate the swans he had kicked. Officials are monitoring the conditions of the park's swans to ensure that none of them sufered serious injuries.

Mantella was taken to the Orange County Jail, where he was charged with cruelty to animals and held on a $1,000 bond.

In the past two months, Mantella has been arrested six times, WFTV reported. Earlier last week, he’d been charged with trespassing at Disney Springs. His other offenses include stealing food from trays at a McDonald's restaurant and drinking beer at a beach.

[Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office]

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