Injured-Coopers-Hawk Mug.jpg
Courtesy SPD
Seattle Police say a man who appeared intoxicated was found Monday choking and attempting to suffocate a hawk in Victor Steinbrueck Park, near

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Hawk Attacked By Apparently Intoxicated Man in Victor Steinbrueck Park Is Euthanized

Injured-Coopers-Hawk Mug.jpg
Courtesy SPD
Seattle Police say a man who appeared intoxicated was found Monday choking and attempting to suffocate a hawk in Victor Steinbrueck Park, near the Pike Place Market.

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After a brief struggle police were able to get the man to release the bird, but sadly it was too late: the hawk had already sustained substantial enough injuries that PAWS was forced to euthanize it.

According to police, with help from PAWS shelter staff, authorities are now attempting to determine exactly how many of the birds injuries were inflicted by the man. The Cooper's Hawk was found suffering from blunt trauma along with a severely injured wing which would have prevented it from ever flying normally again. Police say it's not entirely clear yet whether some of the bird's injuries may have been sustained before the man grabbed it.

According to Jonah Spangenthal-Lee writing on the SPD "Blotter" blog, here's now it went down:

At the park, officers found the man, who was holding the bird--a Cooper's Hawk--in his hands and told him to let it go.

Instead, the suspect--who appeared intoxicated--swore at officers and walked away.

Officers believed the man was suffocating the bird and, with the help of Pike Place Market security, grabbed hold of the suspect's arms to try to get him to release the hawk.

The man gripped the bird even tighter, but officers were eventually able to convince him to release the hawk.

Officers arrested the man and turned the Cooper's Hawk over to PAWS.

Police say the man could face animal cruelty charges along with violations to the Federal Migratory Bird Act, which protects Cooper's Hawks.

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