KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – A man who was videotaped tackling a federally protected pelican in the Florida Keys is now in jail in Key West following his extradition from Maryland.
William Hunter Hardesty, 31, was arrested in Ocean City on March 15 on a warrant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Hardesty was booked into the Key West jail Monday night charged with one count of intentional feeding of pelicans, two counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and two counts of animal cruelty.
Hardesty can be seen in a viral video using a fish to lure a state and federally protected pelican closer to him as he stands on a dock in the Florida Keys. Then, he leaps directly on top of the bird and into the water, surfacing with the bird in both hands. Someone on the dock threatens to call the police, and he lets the bird go, but not before the pelican snaps at his face with its large bill.
Hardesty remained in jail Tuesday morning on $80,000 bail.