- Florida, USA -
On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrested 40-years-old JUSTIN DAVID PETERS (pictured) and charged him with animal cruelty and grand theft.
PETERS is accused of stealing his roommate’s parrot named Piper and parading her around only to leave her at a bus stop suffering from multiple broken bones.
In a press release the sheriff’s office said that the case began on June 14, 2022, when PETERS’ roommate said she believed that PETERS had stolen her $1,800 parrot.
According to the woman, she repeatedly instructed PETERS to leave the bird alone and also told him that he was not allowed to take Piper out of her cage and leave the home.
A witness, however, saw PETERS the day before at a bus stop near his business on Summerland Key with Piper on his shoulder. When the business owner returned a while later, to his surprise, Piper was sitting on the bench and PETERS was no longer there.
Thankfully, the man took the parrot and called the sheriff’s office.
Meanwhile, other witnesses at a nearby restaurant and gas station also reported seeing a man, later identified as PETERS, with the same red parrot. The sheriff’s office said that “Both witnesses stated the bird appeared to be stressed and agitated. Security camera footage confirmed Peters was at those locations.”
Piper was eventually returned to her guardian and then taken to a veterinarian.
The poor baby suffered multiple broken bones, a dislocated hip, blunt force trauma to one side of her small body, and other injuries.
PETERS, also known as Redbeard on Summerland Key, was booked at the Monroe County Jail on one Misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and one Felony count of grand theft.
Online court records show that PETERS will appear before Judge Mark H. Jones on August 26, 2022, to be arraigned.
Marilyn Minda and Alexis Naus have set up a fundraiser for Piper’s medical bill.
An update posted on August 2, 2022, read: “Now that there has finally been an arrest, we would like to thank everyone who has donated. Piper is still recovering but slowly healing.”
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