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Man accused of stomping pelican who stole his catch at Newport Pier

March 25, 2010 |  2:01 pm

Orange County prosecutors have charged a Perris man who allegedly attacked a pelican on the Newport Pier when it tried to steal his catch.

The incident occurred last week, and authorities allege the fisherman stomped on the pelican’s beak. An online posting from a local rescue shelter said he also kicked it in the head.

Daniel Richard Moreno, 19, will be in court Friday for a pretrial hearing after pleading not guilty last week to misdemeanor animal cruelty. Police said Moreno was fishing on the pier about 3:30 p.m. on March 14 and set one of the fish he caught on the ground next to him.

That’s when a pelican standing on a nearby building’s roof swooped down and tried to grab Moreno’s fish, authorities said.

The pelican had a 33- to 36-centimeter “hairline fracture” on its beak, Debbie McGuire, director for the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, told the Daily Pilot. The fracture drew blood from the bird, police said.

-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot

Photo: The pelican who was allegedly attacked. Credit: Daily Pilot