Jason Falbo, a Florida landscaper who ran over a family of ducks with his lawn mower, is facing animal cruelty charges, WPLG (Miami) is reporting.
The ugly duckling murder took place on May 2, but is only now gaining attention in the national media.
Boyd Jentzsch tells the Broward County Sun-Sentinel that on that Saturday, he and his son, Kai, were watching the family of 11 ducklings and their mother eat — the family puts food out for the Muscovy ducks as often as they can.
Meanwhile, Jason Falbo was mowing a lawn. It’s not clear, as of this post, if he was mowing a neighboring lawn or the Jentzsch’s lawn. Nevertheless, on seeing the ducks, he “gunned” the mower, as the Sun-Sentinel puts it, and headed straight for the ducks, running over them with his riding lawn mower.
The Jentzsch family watched in horror.
“We were horrified. I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was totally disgusting.”
Boyd’s wife, Laura Gontchar, seeing blood, feathers, and bones flying about, ran outside to confront Jason Falbo.
“What are you doing? These are our friends. These are our babies, we love to feed them!”
Falbo, unmoved, allegedly smiled and laughed at the distraught woman, and then ran back over the remaining ducklings.
Two ducklings and their mother managed to get away to a nearby pond; they are believed to have drowned. Two ducklings, estimated to be a few days old, survived Jason Falbo’s lawn mower attack, but they are now orphaned.
Boyd and Laura’s seven-year-old son, Kai, was heartbroken at seeing his beloved family of ducks get run over by a lawn mower.
“What are you doing to my ducks? Why are you laughing?”
Police caught up with Falbo a few hours later and arrested him. They wrote in their report that he killed the ducks “cruelly and maliciously with extreme intent.”
According to Online Sunshine (the website of the Florida legislature), a person who commits animal cruelty “unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal.” It’s considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
As for the Jentzsch family, the parents are trying to explain to their son that not everybody in the world is like Jason Falbo, who runs over innocent ducklings with a lawn mower, just for the heck of it.
“We talked about it, going through death and questions like that, and how things need to be done when he sees these cruel things happen. I think that was a very powerful and hurtful experience for him to see.”
What punishment do you believe Jason Falbo should face for murdering those ducks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image courtesy of: WPLG, Wikimedia Commons/Wingman]