A 49-year-old Bunnell man with a recent history of mental disabilities faces a felony charge of animal cruelty after killing a parrot that had been in his family for 48 years, and threatening to do harm to other pets and family members in the household. The man was initially turned over to a psychiatric ward in Daytona Beach before being booked at the Volusia Branch jail. He will face criminal charges in Flagler County.
The incident took place the evening of on Sept. 26. The man, R.D.W., was staying with his father on Oak Street in Bunnell, along with his father’s companion and several pets in the household. A woman called 911 to report that R.D.W. was acting “off the wall” after starting to act strange earlier that afternoon. R.D.W. was walking around the house so belligerently that his father was worried he might hurt someone.
The family kept a 48-year-old parrot in a cage in the kitchen. The bird’s owner had raised it since it was a chick. Certain parrots can live up to 60 years, especially when well cared for. According to his arrest report, R.D.W. took hold of the bird’s cage, smashed it to the ground, stomped on its heavy iron bars, then grabbed the parrot harmfully enough that its owner heard it screeching before R.D.W. “ripped its head off causing its death.” Leaving the bird’s head in the kitchen, the man then dropped the body of the bird in front of its owner, as if taunting her. The owner was hiding in a closet as she called 911.
R.D.W. then asked his father where the dog was, saying he wanted to kill the dog, too. Along the way he smashed out a bedroom window, harming himself. His father kept trying to calm him, but R.D.W. persisted, making “homicidal statements” about family members and friends, and telling his father that he would be removing his eye (his father’s eye) later that evening, because it did not look right. It was around then that deputies arrived. He was standing in the front of the residence with what was believed to be blood on his right arm and abdominal area, a sheriff’s release states. He was yelling incoherent statements and resisting deputies attempting to secure him for safety. They Baker Acted R.D.W.
He had had a similar evaluation on Sept. 21. He’d been treated and released. His father told deputies on Sept. 26 that he feared that if they’d not shown up at the time they did, his son would have seriously hurt or killed someone.
“This was a sad and scary incident for everyone involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is also an example of how situations can escalate to more dangerous crimes and this behavior could be a warning sign that there may be more going on with this guy. He needs professional help before he escalates further.”
The State Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed two charges against R.D.W.: Felony cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony, and assault on a person 65 or older, a first-degree misdemeanor. It is likely that his competency to proceed with trial will be an issue in coming court proceedings.
The following resources are available for individuals in crisis:
In Flagler: The Crisis Triage and Treatment Unit (CTTU) is a crisis assessment and referral service for Flagler County residents experiencing behavioral health crisis. It is located at 301 Justice Lane in the Brown & Brown Outpatient building at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell. This program is limited to individuals escorted to the program by law enforcement between the hours of noon and midnight daily. Law enforcement is able to transport individuals to SMA to assess and determine the appropriate clinical disposition. When required and appropriate, SMA then transports the individual to a receiving facility in Volusia County.
In Daytona Beach: Stewart-Marchman Act Corporation Crisis Center
1220 Willis Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Crisis Line: (800) 539 – 4228
Available 24 hours.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255 (TALK), or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat, both available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255.
People 60 and older can call the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour, toll-free Friendship Line at 800-971-0016. IOA also makes ongoing outreach calls to lonely older adults.
If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs here. For additional resources, see the Speaking of Suicide website.
Charging him will fix the problem. Maybe VP Harris can find the root cause.
Sick of Stupid says
Disgusting and disturbing. He needs to be locked up permanents in a psych facility. It has long been proven there is a correlation between people who intentionally harm animals later moving on to abusing and killing humans. I cannot imaging the trauma that poor woman endured, not only feeling threatened herself, but having her pet of 48 years ripped apart in front of her. If someone did that to me, they’d better take shelter in a hurry. I’d go to jail to avenge something like that.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
Disgusting and horrible. Guys like him always pick on animals because they know they won’t face jail time. They usually get community service, which is a joke. Animals deserve much better protection under the law.
David Schaefer says
Keep him locked up please.
I couldn’t even finish this story, it made me sick to my stomach.
herewegoagain . says
KUDOS to the deputies involved ..
This incident certainly had the indications to turn out differently ..
I hope he is able to receive the help needed .. And his family also ..
The Geode says
I am jaded. I am hard to shock. I have seen and done some things. That being said, WHAT. THE. [email protected]%!???
What is this psycho in jail? He needs to be in a mental health facility for a long time if not for ever.
When he cries and begs his family to forgive him, I hope they remember these psychotic events will keep coming. It’s a shame Florida did away with the psychiatric hospitals.
Before everyone rushes to judgement on this guy we need to know the facts first. We dont know for certain who or what instigated this. We dont know his mental condition for sure. This could be insanity, self defense or any number of things. We just dont know yet.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
Rubbish! So sick of the “mental” defense. Same goes for the “I had a bad childhood defense.” No one takes accountability for their actions anymore.
Polly Bit a Cracker says
I agree let’s wait on the facts. I’ve heard some parrots can be very territorial. If provoked they can be nasty and bite like hell.
“We dont know his mental condition for sure. This could be insanity, self defense or any number of things. We just dont know yet”
Um, I don’t think it’s SELF DEFENSE when a person rips the head off of a caged parrot, and proceeds to threaten elderly family members and remove an eye. But maybe I am “rushing to judgement” Are you serious???
I’m just shocked that no one is outraged that this poor bird has been locked up for 48 years, likely listening to the extreme and untreated dysfunction in this family which was likely never addressed due to the stigma and ignorance surrounding mental health in this country. Astonished by “mental defense”
comment. So Keep Flagler Beautiful just thinks this guy is a big ole meanie? PS Resident, Florida didn’t “do away with psychiatric hospitals” a they’re now called PRISONS. Wake up
and smell reality.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
Excuse me? Did I say he was “a big old meanie?” No one speaks out against animal cruelty more than I do. I don’t believe in caging birds. In my opinion, he should have HIS head ripped off and save the taxpayers some money.
They would of had to lock me up if somebody killed my pet of 48 years.
Now he’s in a cage just like the parrot.
WOW, this is bad. To speak about hiss Father’s left eye is scary. Will he go to jail for the threat. Killed the 40 yr. old bird,not good. If they knew he had mental problems why was he out? To mental situations, a man kills his Dad, this guy kill a bird. Dad killer get away scot free, sad. Dont know what will happen to this guy. I truly hope the system will not treat him like a king so he can go and kill him Dad. Knowing this system that will probably happen. I hope not.