LARGO — A 47-year-old man was charged with animal cruelty after he shot, maimed and then killed a little egret, according to police.
Jere Martin Patterson Jr. told Largo police that the bird was trying to eat his 6-month-old kitten, so he chased it — but did not kill the egret.
He was charged Friday in the incident that took place in the mobile home park where he lives at 620 Clearwater Road N, according to a Largo police report.
Patterson shot the bird multiple times with a BB gun, police said. Then he captured the injured bird, according to police, and killed it. The egret suffered "multiple fractures to the wing and neck area," the report said.
After killing the bird, police said, Patterson stuffed its carcass inside a plastic trash bag and put it in a large bin at Keystone Mobile Home Park.
Patterson told officers that he chased after the bird and kicked it, according to the report, but did not kill it. He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he was being held Saturday in lieu of $5,000 bail.