ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested a St. Petersburg man on charges that he released a number of birds from their cages at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve last week.
Police said they arrested Blake Richard Riede, 21, after he videotaped his caper and posted the video on YouTube. He has been charged with burglary and animal cruelty.
"We got a tip that he had committed this burglary and also had videotaped himself," St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said.
Riede, whose address is 4900 Cadiz Way S, was identified from the video on YouTube, Puetz said.
The vandalism was discovered almost a week ago. Holes had been cut in the park's aviaries and most of the birds let out. All but one of the birds was recaptured later that day. A red-shouldered hawk is still missing.
"We're getting a lot of phone calls from the community,'' said Barbara Stalbird, Boyd Hill supervisor. Anyone who sees the bird can call Boyd Hill at (727) 893-7326.
"Our bird will have leather straps hanging from her legs," Stalbird said.
Stalbird said she's relieved an arrest was made.
"Now we're looking at replacing thousands of dollars worth of cage material."