Man Charged in Duck Slaying

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A man is facing charges for allegedly purposefully running over and killing two ducks.

Duck owner Donald Snyder of Columbiana knew something wasn’t right when he went to feed his flock of five pet ducks the other morning, but only three showed up. He later learned through a friend who worked at the McDonald’s right next to his property that two of his ducks got loose and were killed after being run over in the restaurant parking lot.

Jose Ramos IV, 21, was charged with second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty. He faces a maximum 120 days in jail and a $750 fine. Police said he admitted to running over the ducks but not with the intent witnesses described to police.

Those witnesses said the killing was intentional. Snyder just wants justice for his two lost pets.

“I raised them from when they hatched and they have always been wonderful pets,” said Snyder.

Donald Snyder has raised ducks for years, first owning them when involved in the 4-H club.

“They come up to the house everyday to eat out of your hand and they follow you on the lawnmower, go for rides in the car,” said Snyder.

Snyder is selling his home and crews have been doing some work. That’s how he believes the ducks escaped.

“Land surveyors were here, doing soil samples and whatnot and the gate was left open and that’s how they had gotten out,” said Snyder.

The ducks wandered next door to the parking lot of Columbiana McDonald’s. It’s there police said Ramos was pulling into the drive-through and encountered two ducks.

“He had stopped just short of this light pole over here and sounded his horn and then after it was motioned that there were already ducks in front of him. He then revved his engine and proceeded over the family of ducks,” said Rick Whitfield of the Columbiana Police Department.

A woman who contacted police said she alerted Ramos to the ducks, trying to keep her 5-year-old daughter from seeing the tragedy. She provided police a description of the vehicle.

“With the help of the community,  I was able to track him down by that license plate and vehicle description of that driver and we pressed charges the next day,” said Whitfield.

Ramos turned himself in Thursday and will be arraigned Friday in Columbiana County Municipal Court.

“Anyone that would want to hurt an innocent animal, it’s just not right,” said Snyder.

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