Florida man Rocco Mantella was arrested near Orlando’s Lake Eola after he was spotted kicking two swans in the head while practicing karate early in the morning. Police responded to these reports and arrested Mantella. He has been charged with cruelty to animals based on the incident.
Witnesses say the 34-year-old Jacksonville Beach resident was observed kicking two swans in the head so hard that they immediately fell to the ground. Another swan was kicked in the backside. The same witness said he also spotted Mantella punting a sleeping duck.
Another witness believes the actions were definitely “intentional” because Mantella allegedly hit the same swan repeatedly. In addition, according to KALB, the Orlando Police Department was told that Mantella purposely left an Eola Park walkway to chase down a swan. Unfortunately, police officers were unable to locate the swans and the duck that was allegedly kicked to inspect them for physical damage.
“An area check for the swans that were attacked was conducted but we were met with negative results,” the police report stated, according to BuzzFeed News.
Witnesses say that the perpetrator began laughing when he saw their reaction to him kicking the swans.
“The man looked at [a witness] and laughed while continuing to harass the animals around him,” the police report stated.
When news website Vice reported on this crime, they had a very sarcastic take on the Florida man’s motivations for supposedly practicing karate on innocent animals.
“So what could swans have possibly done to deserve getting kicked in the head by this guy? Perhaps, as a child, he had some sort of traumatic swan-related experience—maybe a gaggle of them ganged up and pecked the hell out of his frail, prepubescent body, leaving him with a lifelong thirst for revenge. Maybe they’ve been dropping deuces on his front lawn, and—after cleaning up their mess just one too many times—he snapped. Or maybe he’s just an a**hole. We’ll let you decide.”
Rocco Mantella was arrested on charges of aggravated animal cruelty. He was then taken to Orange County Jail and held on a $1,000 bond. No lawyer was listed as representing the Florida man based on jail records.