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Man accused of striking seagull on Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — A 21-year-old man accused of striking a seagull with an umbrella was arrested Wednesday evening, police said.

Ryan David Lesle, of Western Springs, Ill., faces a charge of animal cruelty.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, Lesle hit a seagull's wing when he swung an umbrella to disperse a flock of the birds on Clearwater Beach near 360 Mandalay Ave., according to an arrest affidavit.

Lesle later told Clearwater police officers that he hit the seagull again "to take it out of its misery," the affidavit states.

A lifeguard contacted police. Lesle ran away but later returned and was arrested.

An employee from a local veterinarian office later arrived and euthanized the bird.

Lesle was booked into the Pinellas County jail but was released early Thursday on $5,000 bail.

Man accused of striking seagull on Clearwater Beach 03/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:29pm]
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