Former Indiana wrestler arrested after kicking swans in the head

Orlando police arrested Rocco Mantella, a former Indiana University wrestler, for animal cruelty last week. (Orlando Police Department)
Orlando police arrested Rocco Mantella, a former Indiana University wrestler, for animal cruelty last week. (Orlando Police Department)

Rocco Mantella, who was once a wrestler at Indiana University, was arrested in Orlando, Florida, last week and charged with animal cruelty after witnesses saw him kicking swans and at least one duck in a public park.

When you’re a failed fighter, going after innocent birds is apparently the way to go.

The Orlando Sentinel writes that police were called to Lake Eola Park in the city last week; one witness told police Mantella was “practicing karate” by kicking two swans in the head, and a third in the backside.

That witness said Mantella was kicking the birds “as hard as possible,” and that one swan collapsed. He also kicked a duck, which appeared to be sleeping.

Another witness said Mantella laughed when he saw the shocked reactions of those who saw his behavior.

The 34-year-old, who was a freshman at Indiana in the 2001-2002 season and has also attempted mixed martial arts fighting, was arrested without incident and charged with one count of cruelty to animals.

This is Mantella’s third arrest this year: he was arrested and charged with trespassing at Walt Disney World in April, and in March he was arrested and charged with attempted robbery and disorderly conduct.

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