William Hunter Hardesty mugshot

This photo provided by Maryland State Police shows William Hunter Hardesty. Maryland State Police said in a Friday, March 15, 2019 release that Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Md. News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at Florida’s Key West Historic Seaport.

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP/Meredith) — A Maryland man seen tackling a federally-protected pelican on video has been arrested on animal cruelty charges out of Florida.

Maryland State Police said in a Friday release that 31-year-old William Hunter Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at Florida's Key West Historic Seaport. The video was taken March 5 and posted on his Facebook page March 8.

Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward told The Miami Herald the charges amount to five misdemeanors. Hardesty is being held as a fugitive in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.

Reports didn't include comment from Hardesty, who's originally from Anne Arundel County.

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A previous version of this report incorrectly reported Hardesty's age as 21, not 31.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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