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A Massachusetts teenager is under arrest in connection with the stomping death of a town's beloved duck.
Ozzie, a Muscovy duck and the unofficial mascot of Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass., was killed in the Nov. 11 attack. Ozzie had lived in the park for at least three years, The Republican reports.
The duck's untimely stomping death has hit the town hard. Residents shared their sorrow with WSHM-TV in a report you can watch here:
Police arrested the 15-year-old boy four days after a jogger reported seeing a group of boys accosting ducks in Stanley Park. One of the boys relentlessly stomped on Ozzie.
Police are not identifying the teen who stomped the duck to death because he is a juvenile. He is charged with cruelty to animals and killing a domesticated animal. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and $2,600 in fines.
While some townsfolk may be clamoring for the boy to be tried as an adult, a judge would need to set a fitness hearing to determine whether that would be appropriate in this case. No such hearing has been set.
In addition to legal consequences, the crime could also be an indication of psychological issues with the child, one expert told WWLP-TV. "Cruelty to animals is unfortunately a precursor to violent behavior, especially with kids," she said.
The shocking crime is leaving its mark on the community. Hundreds of townsfolk have expressed outrage on the park's Facebook page, and an engraved headstone now covers the spot where Ozzie took his final breath.
The park has also set up an "Ozzie fund" for donations toward the purchase of webcams, so the public can keep an eye on surviving members of Ozzie's flock.
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