OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — State police arrested 31-year-old Maryland man after he was caught on a viral video jumping on a pelican in Florida.

William Hunter Hardesty, of Riva, was arrested on a warrant from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that charged him with animal cruelty to migratory birds and the intentional feeding of pelicans.

Courtesy: Maryland State Police

Hardesty is being held as a fugitive in the Worcester County Detention Center.

He was arrested just after 9 a.m. at a hotel in the 12000 block of Ocean Gateway in Ocean City, Maryland.

Maryland Man Facing Animal Cruelty Charges After He Tackled Pelican In Florida Keys

He was taken in front of a court commissioner for a bond hearing. He is waiting extradition to Florida.

A video showed a man in Florida luring a pelican with food then jumping on top of the pelican in the water. The video was posted to social media.

State Police received a tip about Hardesty’s whereabouts Friday morning.

This story is developing. Stay with WJZ for the latest. 

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Comments (6)
  1. Maureen Ward Steele says:

    happy that he was arrested, animal abusers deserve to be punished big time.

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