Ex-MMA Fighter Arrested For Head-Kicking Swans In Florida Was 'Practising Karate'

Some people are just plain imbeciles, aren't they? Let us elaborate - we're talking about the heartless creatures who bring harm to animals. Before you ask, no this isn't Ricky Gervais writing.

But we're sure Ricky would be equally as disgusted as we were when we read about the recent reports of a man seen kicking swans 'as hard as possible'.

Rocco Joseph Mantella, 34, also known as 'Rocky' from his wrestling and MMA days, was allegedly seen laughing as he looked to be practising karate moves on the defenceless birds at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida.

Police were called to Lake Eola at around 9:30am on 26 April after a caller had observed a man 'kicking animals throughout the park'.

According to Bloody Elbow, officers quickly located the suspect, Mantella, who won an amateur MMA fight in 2012. He was arrested and witness statements were taken regarding what had happened.

One witness claimed they observed Mantella 'practising karate and kicking two swans in the head and then another in the backside'.

The witness stated that the alleged kicks were 'as hard as possible', which resulted in one swan collapsing to the ground. This witness claimed that Mantella also kicked a small duck that appeared to be sleeping.

Orlando Police Department
Orlando Police Department

Another witness claimed they saw Mantella purposely go after a swan to kick it. That witness also said that Mantella 'laughed' after he noticed their reaction to the incident.

Mantella has been charged with one count of Cruelty to Animals and was given bond of $1,000(£731). Mantella has since requested a public defender and filed a claim for criminal indigent status, meaning he doesn't have sufficient funds.

Apparently, this isn't Mantella's first run in with police. Bloody Elbow reported that earlier this month he was arrested for trespassing at Walt Disney World.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In March he was charged with attempted robbery and disorderly conduct after allegedly taking food from people's trays at a McDonald's before threatening to rob a couple in a nearby parking lot. Classy.

Before all this Mantella, who wrestled at Indiana University, tried his hand at mixed martial arts.

According to Tapology, 'Rocky' Mantella was set to make his pro debut in 2012 but the fight was cancelled.

In Florida cruelty to animals can result in fines up to $10,000 (£7,320), jail for up to six months, and mandatory psychological counselling and/or anger management treatment.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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