A man accused of jumping into the water and attacking a brown pelican in Florida was arrested Friday on animal cruelty charges, police said.
William Hunter Hardesty, 31, was arrested by Maryland state troopers at an Ocean City hotel a day after a warrant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission charged him with animal cruelty to migratory birds and the intentional feeding of pelicans.
In the viral clip, which has been viewed more than 130,000 times, Hardesty can be seen laughing as he holds the brown pelican before a woman warned him to get out of the water or she will call the police.
Many on social media lashed out at Hardesty, calling him "cruel" and a "punk."
He wrote back in the comments, "Next time ima eat him for dinner !! Wonder what they taste like."
Other users said they were reporting the video to law enforcement.
Florida and Maryland authorities said they received several calls this week from "concerned citizens" who reported that Hardesty was "bragging" about "tackling a pelican."
"I shared the anger of those who contacted me regarding this video," Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said Monday. "This type of behavior — the abuse of animals — will not be tolerated on my watch."
Hardesty is awaiting extradition to Florida, police said.