Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guatemalan immigrant attacks famous bird

Heidi Singer:

The bird-brained construction worker caught on video harassing Pale Male claims he was only throwing bread at the city's reigning raptor, according to his former boss and state officials.

Amaldo Del Cid Donis, 19, of Newark, denied he was stoning the red-tailed hawk from the top of a Fifth Avenue building Friday, said Lori O'Connell of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

"From my understanding, it was an accident - he says it wasn't a rock," O'Connell said. "He had told our officers that it was a piece of bread."

Interfering in almost any way with protected birds like hawks or eagles is a crime, so DEC is charging the Guatemalan immigrant with "taking a protected bird" - a violation of state environmental law punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Del Cid Donis appeared at DEC offices Monday with his boss, Leopoldo Dominguez of DNA Construction, who fired him - but is considering giving him another chance.

"He convinced me it wasn't done out of malice," said Dominguez. "He was trying to make the bird look up. He wanted to look at it."

But Lincoln Karim, the hawk-watcher who filmed the incident and called police, scoffed at Del Cid Donis' explanation, saying the objects were too heavy for bread, and he also caught the worker laughing and spitting on Pale Male.

"Bread wouldn't fall that hard," he said.

Pale Male Attacked!


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