LISBON - The Leetonia man accused in the death of two pet ducks at the Columbiana McDonald's parking lot by striking them with his vehicle was arraigned in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Friday morning.
Appearing with his attorney Walter Newton, Jose D. E. Ramos IV, 21, Columbia Street, Leetonia, pleaded not guilty to cruelty to animals. He signed a time waiver for a speedy trial and a pretrial was set for June 11.
Ramos reportedly has no criminal record and Judge Carol Robb set bond at $1,000 recognizance. The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Ramos turned himself in to Columbiana police on Thursday after learning from relatives a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Police have told the Journal he admitted to running over the two ducks on Tuesday, but had not intended to do so. One was killed immediately, and the other reportedly died of its injuries.
Court documents allege Ramos stopped for the ducks, impatiently sounded his horn, revved his engine and then disregarded a witnesses' efforts to disperse the animals for him. It further accuses him of killing one duck and mutilating another.
The Swedish ducks, Sophia and Melvin, were part of a five-duck flock owned by Don Snyder, who lives next door to the McDonald's. They were accidentally released from their enclosure by a surveyor working on Snyder's property, before they wandered into the McDonald's lot.