Florida man ‘practices’ his karate on swans at Lake Eola Park

Multiple witnesses said they saw Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, attacking the swans Thursday morning around 9:15, according to Orlando Police Department arrest records.[Orlando Police Department]
Multiple witnesses said they saw Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, attacking the swans Thursday morning around 9:15, according to Orlando Police Department arrest records.[Orlando Police Department]
Published April 27 2018
Updated April 27 2018

A Jacksonville man is accused of kicking swans at an Orlando park for "karate practice."

Multiple witnesses said they saw Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, attacking the swans Thursday morning around 9:15, according to Orlando Police Department arrest records.

One witness said Mantella kicked two swans in the head and another in its backside "as hard as possible," according to arrest records, and the kicks were strong enough to knock the swans over. That same witness said Mantella also kicked a small duck that appeared to have been sleeping.

A separate witness said they saw Mantella leaving a walkway in the park to chase a swan, and when he saw that witnessís reaction, he laughed, according to arrest records.

And a third witness told police that Mantella kicked a swan in the face, then looked at the witness and laughed while he continued to attack other animals.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested Mantella. They also searched for the swans that were attacked, but they couldnít find them.

Mantella faces a charge of cruelty to animals and is being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail, according to court records.

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