Anne Arundel County man charged in pelican tackling case

An Anne Arundel County man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly tackled a pelican in Florida.

William Hunter Hardesty, 31, of Riva was formally charged with animal cruelty to migratory birds and the intentional feeding of pelicans.

Hardesty was arrested in Maryland, and he is being held in Worcester County as a fugitive.

Troopers arrested Hardesty on Friday morning at a hotel in Ocean City.

Florida police began investigating after a social-media post surfaced showing a man jumping on top of a pelican in a body of water.

Police obtained a warrant for Hardesty shortly after the investigation began.

People who believed the man from the video was staying at the hotel in Ocean City reached out to Troopers on Friday morning. They told the Troopers that the man had bragged to them about being wanted for feeding and tackling a pelican in the Florida keys.