Man 'practicing karate' kicked swans in the head at Lake Eola, police say

Witness says man laughed as he harassed animals

By Shannon McLellan - Social Media Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man was arrested after police said he kicked several swans and a sleeping duck while practicing karate at Lake Eola.

Several witnesses reported the incident to police. One witness told police he saw Rocco Mantella, 34, practicing karate in the park. The witness said Mantella kicked two swans in the head and another swan in the backside, according to the report. Police said the kicks were "as hard as possible" and enough to cause the swans to fall to the ground.

Another witness told police she witnessed Mantella intentionally go after a swan and kick the animal in the head, according to the report. The witness told police when Mantella noticed her reaction he began laughing and continued to harass the animals around him. 

Mantella also kicked a small duck that appeared to be sleeping, according the report. 

Orlando Police arrested Mantella on a felony aggravated animal cruelty charge. Police said Mantella had complete awareness that his kicks to the swans could cause serious injury or death, and that all of the kicks were intentional. 

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