The Florida man wasn’t only kicking the swans, witnesses said — he was also laughing when he noticed onlookers reacting in shock.
Orlando police arrested Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, on Thursday after witnesses reported seeing him “disturbing and kicking swans” at Lake Eola Park. Mantella faces cruelty to animals charges, police said.
Mantella was practicing karate and kicking the animals “as hard as possible,” according to witnesses at the public park in downtown Orlando. He kicked two swans in the head so aggressively that the birds toppled over, WESH reports.
At one point he left a walking path in the park expressly to pursue a swan, according to witnesses. One witness described Mantella laughing when he saw her reaction to his attacks, WFTV reports.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
The suspect wasn’t only targeting swans, either. Police said Mantella also kicked a duck that seemed to be sleeping before his assault, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they were unable to locate the injured swans, according to WESH.
Mantella was taken to the Orange County Jail, where he was held on $1,000 bond, according to jail records. He is a resident of Jacksonville Beach, Florida.