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Man who stomped pelican that stole his fish pleads guilty to animal cruelty

September 9, 2010 |  7:37 am

Daniel Richard Moreno was sentenced to 20 days for stomping on this pelican's beak, fracturing it.When a pelican nabbed a fish that Daniel Richard Moreno had caught on the Newport Beach coast earlier this year, he turned violent, stomping the bird, authorities say.

On Wednesday, Moreno, 20, was sentenced to community service and probation after pleading guilty the day before to misdemeanor animal cruelty, prosecutors said.

The Perris man had been sentenced to 20 days in jail but was given the option of serving his time with Caltrans.

Moreno was given credit for time served after his arrest for the incident in March. He has 12 days left to serve and can either do the time behind bars or with Caltrans, which could require him picking up trash on the side of the freeway in an orange vest, officials said.

On March 14, authorities said, Moreno was fishing off the Newport Pier when a pelican swooped down from a nearby building and tried to grab  part of his catch.

Moreno stomped on the pelican's beak, giving the protected species a 33- to 36-centimeter hairline fracture and drawing blood.

Animal experts said the injury could have been life-threatening because pelicans dive beak-first into the water from about 60 feet in the air.

Read the full story here.

-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot

Photo credit: Daily Pilot