Four teenagers were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of plowing into a flock of ducks and geese in Ahwatukee Foothills, leaving a gruesome 50-yard aftermath of blood and feathers.
Reggie Richardson, 17; Raymond Blakeley, 17; Ryan Johnson, 16; and Craig Knapper, 17, were arrested at 11 a.m. at Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee Foothills after student rumors led authorities to them, said Phoenix detective Tony Morales.
Morales also said feathers and other physical evidence were found on a 1997 green Chevrolet Camaro driven by Richardson.
"This is an ugly and cruel thing to do with any animal," Morales said.
The teens were referred to the Maricopa County Juvenile Court system with recommended charges of 10 felony counts each of cruelty to animals, Morales said. If convicted, they could get probation to two years in prison for each count.
They also are facing punishment from the school, said Nicole Greason, a spokeswoman for Tempe Union High School District.
"They said they thought the ducks were going to fly away as the car approached," Morales said. "I’m not inclined to believe that as an excuse. It looks pretty intentional to me."
Bread and tortillas were placed in the middle of the street Friday near Lakeside Boulevard and Suki Court to lure the waterfowl from a nearby lake. A small green car was seen speeding away, leaving more than a dozen ducks and geese dead or dying in the road.
Seven mallards and two geese died at the scene. At least five injured ones retreated to the lake, where they likely drowned. One injured duck was taken to the Arizona Humane Society’s Second Chance Hospital, but veterinarians had to euthanize it.
A $5,000 reward was offered through Silent Witness for information leading to an arrest or indictment. An official with that agency said he could not disclose whether the reward was or would be paid.