Fritz Eugene, Port St. Lucie, Florida man cuts off legs, stabs to death blue heron in front of son after capturing protected bird and bringing it home.
A Florida man has been accused of torturing a great blue heron to death after cutting off the protected bird’s legs and slitting its throat in front of his distraught son.
Fritz Eugene, 67, is alleged to have fatally stabbed the federally protected heron after he brought it back to his Port St. Lucie home following a fishing trip last Friday, police said.
He allegedly snatched the bird after becoming enraged that the heron had started eating his fishing bait, according to an arrest affidavit cited by WPTV.
The man’s wife reported the allegations on Sunday when cops responded to a domestic disturbance at the family’s home.
The spouse showed police a graphic photo she had found on her daughter’s phone of Eugene holding the slain bird, according to the police report.
Young son left distraught witnessing torture of blue heron
The girl told investigators that her father had the bird with him when he picked her up from school after his fishing trip on March 31. She said it appeared her dad had broken the bird’s leg in the process of capturing it.
‘The bird was still alive at this point but had a broken leg. It appeared the father had injured the bird when he grabbed it,’ the police report stated.
After arriving home, Eugene allegedly took the bird outside before he ‘cut its leg off and slit its throat’ in front of his son.
The boy was left ‘distraught’ by the ordeal, police said.
When questioned by cops, Eugene denied any knowledge of the alleged torture. He also claimed he had never come into contact with the heron — despite cops informing him of the macabre photo.
Eugene upon his arrest was taken into custody and booked with multiple charges, including animal cruelty and cruelty towards a child.
Blue herons are protected federally under the US Migratory Brid Treaty Act, as well as the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.