Duck killer sentenced

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The Leetonia man who drove over two pet ducks in the Columbiana McDonald’s parking lot April 30 was sentenced Tuesday to community service and probation.

According to our news partner, the Lisbon Morning Journal, Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost sentenced Jose D.E. Ramos IV to 30 days jail, with the full 30 days suspended on the basis that he completes 40 hours community service and two years supervised probation.

Ramos, 21, of Columbia Street, Leetonia, was originally charged with animal cruelty following the incident that resulted in the death of Don Snyder’s pet ducks.

Snyder lives next door to the McDonald’s restaurant and the two Swedish ducks, Sophia and Melvin, were accidentally released from their enclosure by a surveyor working on his property that day and wandered into the McDonald’s parking lot.

The ducks were part of a five-duck flock and one died immediately after being run over, while the other died later as a result of the injuries.

Witnesses claimed Ramos purposefully drove over the ducks, but Ramos has maintained he misinterpreted hand gestures from an onlooker attempting to shoo the ducks away from traffic.

The onlooker had said she was trying to get Ramos to stop, which he did briefly, but Ramos said he perceived her gestures as meaning to pull forward, which he did.

That Ramos had intent to kill the ducks remains unclear, which is why Frost reduced the charge on Tuesday to persistent disorderly conduct.

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