Wednesday, June 14, 2017

(May 2017) Indiana: James McDaniel charged with animal cruelty after police say he excessively beat Canadian Goose with wiffle ball bat

INDIANA -- James McDaniel says he did what any parent would do if an aggressive animal was attacking their child. He admits to hitting a Canada goose with a plastic Wiffle ball bat after he says the bird started chasing his 4-year-old son, Ethan.

“A goose actually came from the other side of the field… and proceeded to go full wing span and chase after my son,” said McDaniel.

He says he grabbed the only thing around: his son’s plastic bat.

“So I swing one time, he [the goose] kind of topples over, I grab my son, [go gather our things] and I ran across the street,” said McDaniel.

And that swing, it seems, got feathers flying after a witness called the police.

“It was clearly attacking my son,” said McDaniel, “if anyone else had seen the whole incident, they would have known I was trying to protect my son.”

However, county law enforcement says McDaniel went too far.

"...with James holding an orange bat was after the bird was NOT MOVING AT ALL. Rebecca stated she yelled at him to stop and this is when he finally stopped. I spoke to witness number two, Tiana McCoy. Tiana works with Rebecca and was walking out of the same building Rebecca was when Tiana stated she witnessed James hit the bird three times with an orange bat...

"James kept trying to show me a statute on Google where he has the legal right to hit the birds... he kept saying, 'It's gone from a 5 to a 1.'"

Marion County Animal Services showed up and issued McDaniel a ticket for animal cruelty. The agency was unable to comment on the case because of pending litigation, but according to the incident report, witnesses say they saw McDaniel hit the bird three times [even after the goose stopped coming towards him and was simply standing there]. 

 The report also states the officer did take the goose to a local veterinarian.

McDaniel maintains that he was only protecting his child.

“FOX59 has shown before that these birds are becoming more and more aggressive,” said McDaniel, citing a report regarding aggressive geese and the Department of Natural Resources response to them.

“This is very frustrating because why should I not be allowed to protect my child against wildlife anywhere?”

DNR officials said a person is allowed to protect themselves or others from wildlife, but can only use a reasonable amount of force based on the amount of harm a particular animal could inflict. McDaniel will go before a judge on Monday.

I can see smacking it once with a plastic bat, but repeatedly. And I imagine these were full swings by a grown man. That's excessive, especially since the witness says he continued to beat it even when it was stunned and just standing there looking at him.


(5NewsOnline - May 12, 2017)