Maryland man sentenced after being caught on camera tackling a Key West pelican: report

The Maryland man who was seen on video jumping onto a pelican in Key West earlier this year was sentenced last week to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, reports said.

William Hunter Hardesty, 31, was found guilty on four misdemeanors, The Miami Herald reported. The report said the offending video is still on his Facebook page and he will have the time reduced by 40 days for time served.

“Troopers were told the individual was bragging to them about being wanted for feeding and tackling a pelican in the Florida Keys,” authorities said. “Troopers confirmed the extraditable arrest warrant with Florida law enforcement. They responded to the hotel and, after identifying Hardesty, arrested him without incident.”

The video showed a man who appeared to have a fish in his hand as he leaned over the water near the edge of a harbor. He then jumped off the harbor and landed on top of the pelican. The man briefly managed to catch hold of the bird before the animal ultimately hit him with its beak and broke free.


Ryan Maher, the assistant state attorney, called Hardesty an "internet troll.”

“He has troll remorse," he said. "He got a rise out of that up to the point where he got in trouble."