SPRINGFIELD >> An 18-year-old man is facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge for allegedly biting the head off a live bird in a video posted on social media Thursday, according to Providence Animal Center Director of Public Relations Justina Calgiano.
The case was initially being investigated by Springfield Township police, but Chief Joe Daly said Friday that his department turned it over to animal cruelty officers at the Upper Providence shelter.
The criminal complaint was still being written as of 1 p.m. Friday and the identity of the man being charged was not yet being released, Calgiano said. She said the shelter’s attorneys would review the complaint before filing it in Springfield Magisterial District Court, but was unsure when exactly that would happen.
Calgiano said the video is “very upsetting” and contains images of the animal’s headless body writhing as its wings flap. She deemed the death “disgusting and unnecessary,” adding the suspect likely would have faced felony charges if the offense occurred at the end of the month when new, stricter penalties for animal cruelty take effect.
Calgiano said the alleged perpetrator, who she indicated was a senior at Bonner Prendergast Catholic High School, turned himself in to police and provided a statement indicating he was intoxicated at the time the video was made.
“Humane officers were knocking on his door as he was at the Springfield Police Department,” she said. “He has willingly turned himself in and is hopefully willing to face the consequences that come with such a horrific act.”
Photo Credit: HBE Alive