Palm Beach Gardens Man Arrested for Abusing Bird on Threatened Species List

Florida Man Michael Bochicchio, 31, of Palm Beach Gardens was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for torturing a Sandhill crane. Bochicchio was charged after Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers and Jupiter Police said he chased down a Sandhill crane near Military Trail, grabbed it by the neck and began to pull off its feathers.

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Witnesses to the incident told officers that they tried to stop Bochicchio from pulling off the birds feathers, but Bochicchio would taunt them and hold the feathers up to their faces asking them if they wanted to keep them.

Sandhill Cranes are on Florida’s threatened species list and are not to be chased or harassed in any way.

As stated in Florida State Statute 812.12 (2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, commits aggravated animal cruelty, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 (a sentence of up to 5 years in prison) or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Bochicchio was charged with two misdemeanors and a felony for his actions. He posted a $1,000 bond and was ordered to stay away from the area where the incident took place. He’s due back in court in October.

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