Man cited for beating turtle with hammer

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A video posted on Facebook this week showing a man beating a turtle to death with a hammer along Lady Bird Lake has authorities taking action.

Geoffrey Frank says he was running along the trail near South Lamar Boulevard and East Riverside Road on Tuesday when he came across what he calls a "sick" scene. Frank says the man hooked the turtle, lured it out of the water and "smashed it to death with a hammer."

According to Frank, the man didn't take the turtle but rather pulled it up to the road and left it there to die. In the video you can see the man beating in the turtle's head and then looking at the camera.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department say they were able to identify the man with the help of social media and tips to the Crime Stoppers hotline. The individual in the video was cited for hunting non-game wildlife without a license and illegal dumping of the wildlife. A spokesperson for TPWD says the man claimed the turtle was a snapping turtle and he hit it in self-defense.

Austin police is looking at possibly charging the man with cruelty to non-livestock animal. Police say if you witnessed the incident, please contact the Animal Cruelty Unit at 512-978-0523.

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