MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Several witnesses accused a 72-year-old man of intentionally running over a duck and several ducklings Sunday afternoon.
A Myrtle Beach Police officer responded to Myrtlewood Villas at about 1 p.m. Sunday and met with three witnesses who provided statements that a female mallard duck was leading ducklings across 48th Ave North near Wild Iris Drive. Traffic had stopped to let the ducks pass, but Robert Allan Willard intentionally sped up and hit the mother duck and several ducklings, witnesses told police.
One of those witnesses included Kendra Gerald, who said, "We looked over when we seen him slow down and then speed up. Next thing we know there were a couple of dead ducks on the side of the road."
Gerald, along with other workers at the Myrtlewood Villas, ran to catch the remaining five ducklings.
Paula Rock, who is in charge of housekeeping at the villas, said she was proud of her staff. "They all jumped in big time," she said. "I got out there with the box they were out there trying to catch all the little babies."
Once the five ducklings were safe, Rock called Russell Cavender, also known as "The Snake Chaser," to come and retrieve them.
Cavender said getting the call of possible mistreatment doesn't surprise him. "Whether it was intentional or not, it still sickens me because you see in front of you and if there is a duck crossing the road I'm pretty sure you're going to see it, especially if you're on a road where you're going to go 10 to 15 miles per hour."
The property maintenance buried the ducks on property and the five remaining ducklings were taken to a private farm in Conway dedicated to rehabilitating animals.
Willard was cited for mistreatment of animals, a misdemeanor offense.