Teen Runs Over Ducks, Charged With Felony?!

Jacqueline Burt Cote

dillon pearceDuck, duck, duck ... Hummer? Oops. A 19-year-old in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is being charged with felony animal cruelty for running over a family of ducks in a McDonald's parking lot with a Hummer. If convicted, Dillon Pearce could face up to four years in prison.

Yes, you read that correctly. Take a second to let it all sink in -- if you're like me, simply seeing the words Hummer, duck, McDonald's, and felony in one paragraph just gave you the equivalent of an ice cream headache. Is this really what teenagers today are doing for "fun"? Or was it an accident and moms everywhere should rally to clear his name?

Ready? Let me break this one down for you. In Pearce's version of the story, he drives himself and two of his buddies to McDonald's in the aforementioned Hummer (which I'm guessing belongs to his parents, only because how many 19-year-olds can afford a Hummer?). They notice a mother duck and a bunch of ducklings nesting under a nearby bush, waddling perilously in and out of traffic. Being charitable young men, Pearce and his pals decide to move the family to a safer location, and one of the kids hops out and tries to pick up a duckling, only to be yelled at by a McDonald's employee. Whatevs, the boys figure. They go through the drive-through and scarf down their food in a nearby parking lot. Only problem is, this is a Hummer full of teenage boys we're talking about, and they're still hungry. So they head back to the drive-through for more grub ... only this time, they unwittingly run over and kill the entire feathered family. 

That's when the McDonald's employees called the cops, who tracked the Hummer to a gas station. When questioned, Pearce said he had no idea he ran over the ducks ... but apparently those Mickey D's workers (who alleged that Pearce slaughtered the birds on purpose as an act of revenge) were very convincing, because the cops arrested him anyway. He was arraigned Tuesday on one count of killing/torturing animals. Currently out on bail, Pearce will head back to court on May 4.

Can I just say ... wtf??? First of all, when I was a teenaged driver, I accidentally ran over a squirrel without realizing it, and that was in my mother's aging Ford Mustang. You're telling me it's not possible to drive over a bunch of ducks in a vehicle built for navigating landmine-riddled terrain and not feel it?

Secondly, can we just take a good look at Pearce's mugshot? He has the same look on his face that my son used to get when he was 2 and discovering that things like ants die when you step on them. Really? This kid is a felon??

Lastly ... four years in prison, huh? There are convicted sex offenders who have received prison sentences ranging from 60 days to six months. Look, I like ducks, ducklings are adorable, it's sad they had to die (outside of a restaurant that serves dead cows, chickens, and who knows what else, but we won't even go there). Still, you're telling me that running over a duck -- even if it was on purpose -- is a greater crime than molesting a child???

Do you think Pearce's potential punishment is fair?


Image via Ann Arbor Police/Annarbor.com

Read More