The landscape worker who mowed over nine ducklings in May has received his sentence after pleading guilty to the nine counts of felony cruelty to animals.
Jason Scott Falbo II, 24, received three years of probation but will serve the first year in Palm Beach County Jail. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic battery, which happened a month before the duck killing.
The duck incident occurred on May 2, when Boyd Jentzsch and his wife, Laura Gontchar, and their son left food out for a mother duck and her 11 ducklings.
The family watched from the window as Falbo rode up on a lawn mower. According to the Palm Beach Post, Gontchar said Falbo deliberately changed directions toward the ducks.
The family rushed outside to get the man to stop, but Falbo simply smiled and backed up his mower to continue killing more ducklings.
“Everything was flying in the air; the blade was powerful,” Gontchar told the Palm Beach Post. “It was horrific.”
Only the mother duck and two ducklings survived. Two others were able to escape, but drowned later as a result of their injuries.
Jentzsch confronted the man and asked what he was doing. Falbo’s response, according to the police report: “They were in my path so I just kept mowing.”
Falbo’s employer, Wayne Soini, from Reliable Lawn Care, told the police it was Falbo’s first day on the job and that he was not mowing on the right path. Jentzsch said that it was the man’s first day driving the mower truck and that he had seen him in the neighborhood before.
Once his sentence is over, Falbo is not allowed to own “any animals of any kind” nor can he live with anyone who has pets. He will also be visited from time to time by county animal control officers, according to the Sun Sentinel.
As part of his punishment, he must perform 10 hours of community service a month, pay $669 in fines and court costs, and undergo a mental health exam within 30 days of his release from jail.
“They should have just thrown away the keys,” Jentzsch told the Palm Beach Post after hearing Falbo’s sentence. “There is no justification for what he’s done.”