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Man who tackled pelican jailed in Florida

William Hardesty, of Maryland, held on $80,000 in Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. – A Maryland man accused of abusing a pelican has returned to the Florida Keys to face charges.

William Hunter Hardesty, 31, of Riva, Maryland, was booked into jail in Key West late Monday, according to a statement from Monroe County Sheriff's spokesman Adam Linhardt.

Hardesty was arrested March 15 in Ocean City, Maryland, after a video posted on his Facebook a week earlier went viral, appearing to show him leaping onto the federally protected pelican as it floated next to the Key West Historic Seaport. He appears to resurface holding the bird, which snaps at his face, at which point he loosens his grip and the bird flies away.

Hardesty is accused of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He was jailed on $80,000 bond. A lawyer wasn't listed in jail records.