INDIANAPOLIS — The father of an Indianapolis Colts safety was arrested and charged after prosecutors say he shot and killed a bald eagle.
According to federally filed court documents, Rodney Thomas Sr., the father of NFL safety Rodney Thomas II was charged and indicted by a Pittsburgh federal grand jury after they claim he violated the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The indictment filed Tuesday states Thomas reportedly did “knowingly or with wanton” take a bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus on May 12, by shooting and killing it with an air rifle in Mount Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania.
The Act defines “take” as “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.”
According to the New York Post, police waited more than two months before releasing the suspect’s name or charges, causing outrage from Mount Pleasant residents.
The paper adds the doomed eagle was one of two that nested for nearly two decades in the area.
Thomas Sr. is being charged with a federal misdemeanor of taking a Bald Eagle in violation of the Bald Eagle Protection Act.
He faces a potential fine of $100,000 and/or imprisonment for one year for his first offense. Penalties can increase for additional offenses and a second violation of the Act is a felony.