CLEARWATER - A 21-year-old Illinois man was charged with animal cruelty March 19 after using part of a beach umbrella to hit a seagull. Clearwater police arrested him about 6 p.m.
Ryan David Lesle of Western Springs was taken to the Pinellas County Jail on the felony charge. He since has bonded out.
Clearwater police said Lesle was annoyed by a flock of seagulls near him and his friends south of Pier 80 near Tower 3, so he used the lower pole part of an umbrella to swing at them. He injured one of the birds, and then used the pole again to try to put the bird out of its misery.
Someone from a local veterinarian facility responded and had to euthanize the bird.