A man has turned himself in and faces an animal cruelty charge after Marco Island police say he struck a seagull with a shovel in November.
On Nov. 5, 2021, the Marco Island Police Department began investigating a report of animal abuse that occurred in the South Beach area of Marco Island. It was reported
that a male suspect was hitting seagulls with a shovel. The suspect left the scene before MIPD showed up.
A laughing gull was struck by the shovel and suffered a broken wing and was no longer able to fly. It was later euthanized at the Conservancy of Southwest due to the severity of its injuries. The laughing gull is a protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
After an investigation, police identified the suspect as Paul John Flaucher, 30, from Jesup, Iowa. With assistance from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, enough information was gathered to issue an arrest warrant through Collier County Circuit Court.
Flaucher turned himself in at the Collier County Jail on Wednesday. He faces one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony.