East Naples man faces animal cruelty charges after neighbors say he drowned ducklings in pool
An East Naples man was arrested on a warrant Monday and faces charges of animal cruelty after his neighbors called deputies telling them the man had drowned ducklings in his pool.
Robert Block, 79, faces five felony charges of cruelty to animals, according to a Collier County Sheriff's Office arrest report.
A deputy made contact with Block at the Naples Jail Center on Monday in reference to a warrant after Block had turned himself in that day, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Block's next-door neighbors on Marbella Drive called the Sheriff's Office's nonemergency line at 9 a.m. March 27 and reported to a dispatcher that Block had just drowned ducklings in his pool, according to a recording of the call.
"They got into his pool, and he held them down with his skimmer and drowned them all," Block's neighbor told the call taker. "And the mother was out, the mama duck was out there just screaming, and the babies were squealing. It was so horrible."
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were notified by the Sheriff's Office and investigated the incident, according to an FWC warrant affidavit.
Block told FWC investigators that "he was frustrated with the wildlife in the area getting into his pool, specifically rats, rabbits, and ducks," the affidavit states.
He told investigators he removed ducklings from his pool that morning with a pool skimmer and said "he had drowned some," according to the affidavit.
Block admitted to investigators that he told his neighbor, who had confronted him, that he was drowning the ducklings, the affidavit states.
FWC investigators found five "freshly deceased ducklings" near Block's pool area in a small pile, "concealed behind a palm frond," according to the affidavit.
FWC investigators wrote in the affidavit that Block told them "multiple inconsistent stories, and often only shared information once evidence of his dishonesty was located."
Block told investigators that "small wildlife, including ducks, were nuisances and he was actively looking for ways to remove them from his property," according to the affidavit.
Investigators found lethal traps in Block's pool area, indicating he "was willing to kill animals to remove them," the affidavit states.
Block posted the $25,000 bond and was released Monday, according to the arrest report. A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Block declined to comment.