Jason Falbo, a south florida landscaper faces charges of animal cruelty after he ran over a mother duck and her 11 ducklings with his riding lawnmower, deputies said.
Jason Falbo, 24, has been charged with nine counts of animal cruelty over the incident on 2 May in Wellington, south Florida.
The ducks were eating their lunch on the grass near a tree in the family’s backyard when Falbo allegedly struck.
Boyd Jentzsch says his family, including his seven-year-old son, were watching from inside their home and screamed as the ducks were run over.
Mr Jentzsche says he ran outside and confronted Falbo, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
He told the newspaper the landscaper was smiling as he reversed the mower and ran over the ducklings again.
Mr Jentzsche called the police and the county’s Animal Care and Control.
Nine ducklings were killed, including two who escaped into a lake with their mother, but drowned.
The mother and two ducklings survived.
Witness Laura Gontchar told the Palm Beach Post: “Everything was flying in the air, the blade was so powerful. It was horrific.”
She said the mother duck returned to their backyard in search of her ducklings hours after the incident.
A police arrest report said the ducklings lost their lives “cruelly and viciously with extreme intent”.
Falbo, of Royal Palm Beach, was arrested on Wednesday.
He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $27,000 bail.