Police arrest owner of dog that attacked Lake Eola swan

Orlando Police detectives believe dog attack was intentional

Published On: Mar 11 2013 04:50:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 09 2013 11:14:35 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Orlando police say they have arrested a man who owned a dog that attacked a swan at Lake Eola Park, which later had to be euthanized.

Police said Orlando Police detectives were able to establish through an investigation that this was an intentional act by 51-year-old Lawrence Labonte, the dog's owner.

Police said they were called to North Rosalind Avenue on Wednesday, three days after the attack, when a witness reported that a man released his dachshund from its leash to attack a male white swan.

The swan was taken to Winter Park Veterinarian Hospital , where it was euthanized due to its severe leg injuries, according to police.

"This is a rare occasion.  I've been managing the park for two years and this has never happened," said park manager Chris Wallace. "If you've got them on retractable leashes, we tell you don't let them chase after the swans and we do all the education that we can."

A witness spotted the incident and took pictures. Police said they are investigating whether the release of the dog was intentional.

The swan was valued at $500.

Police said detectives later obtained an arrest warrant for Labonte and he was arrested in Seminole County.

Labonte has been charged with cruelty to animals, and fighting or baiting animals.

View: City swan euthanized after dog attack