Police in Maryland are looking for an individual who they say put out food in order to “bait” seagulls, and then allegedly ran over the flock with their vehicle, killing at least 10 birds and injuring at least one other, if not more.
As Time reports, police in Laurel, a suburban community about halfway between Washington and Baltimore, say that between about 9 a.m. and about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, an individual went to a discount store in the city and purchased a bag of pre-popped popcorn, a treat the aquatic birds are known to love. Authorities say that the individual poured the popcorn onto the ground in order to attract the birds, then went back into his car and ran over the flock before fleeing the scene.
Someone called 911 to make an animal cruelty report, and when police arrived on the scene they found that 10 birds had been killed, and an unknown number of other birds were injured.
In a Facebook post, the Laurel Police Department called the killings a “senseless act of animal cruelty.”
The police agency also noted that one of its officers was able to help at least one of the injured birds.
“Despite yesterday’s senseless act of violence against animals, a glimmer of love and kindness shone through when Cpl. Wilson rescued one of the injured birds and was able to get the bird to a wildlife rescue to try and repair it’s [sic] broken wing,” the post reads.
If the comments on the Laurel Police Department’s Facebook post about this crime are to be believed, the people of Laurel are livid that someone so cruel is out and about in town.
“I hope this guy is hit with individual felonies for each animal killed or hurt,” wrote one user.
“Someone like that has no business in our community,” wrote another.
Other users suggested that the Laurel police might be bungling this investigation. For example, several pointed out that, by all rights, the discount store should have had security cameras that captured an individual purchasing popcorn, or that the store’s credit card machine could easily point out who purchased popcorn that morning.
“Seriously? No cameras? No video of the person at the check-out? No credit card trail? Laurel PD certainly can’t be this inept,” wrote one user.