The three teens accused of killing and eating a beloved swan in an upstate New York village are refugees, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
Manlius Police reported Faye the Swan and her four cygnets missing from the town pond last Monday, which prompted horror from the Manlius, New York, residents. Locals flooded Manlius police with tips the next day, which ended in the arrest of 18-year-old Eman Hussan of Syracuse, New York, and two minors, aged 16 and 17.
The posse are refugees from Myanmar and attend high school in the neighboring city, Manlius Police Sgt. Ken Hatter told the Free Beacon. Police say the three were able to steal Faye because she was nesting and did not fight back. The suspects devoured Faye with their family in Syracuse.
Faye’s children were also abducted but were later retrieved by authorities unharmed. A biologist who works with the village of Manlius will care for the cygnets for another six weeks.
"I just don’t know how if you were from the area you wouldn’t see the fences or the ‘no fishing’ signage," Hatter told the Free Beacon.
This is the second high-profile incident in recent months related to the murder of a precious bird at the hands of foreign nationals. The Free Beacon reported on two suspected illegal immigrants in Stanton County, Neb. who snuck into protected land and shot a bald eagle. Authorities told the Free Beacon that the two suspects had intended to eat the once-endangered animal, which is considered the United States’ national symbol.
Eman Hussan and his two co-conspirators are charged with felony grand larceny and criminal mischief. Their court dates are scheduled later this month.
If found guilty, the three risk deportation. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that offenders can be forcibly removed from the United States if they commit aggravated felonies or "crimes involving moral turpitude," which may or may not include the execution and ingestion of a cherished Anatidae.
"This is not ending. We will continue to have swans," Manlius mayor Paul Whorrall said at a Wednesday press conference last week. "We’ll let the four cygnets grow up and at that point, we are hoping that two of those cygnets will mate and we will be back to the way it used to be."
Manlius has cared for swans since 1905 and is one of the only towns in the state of New York that has a permit to house, maintain, own, or transport the birds. Whorrall said the town will install cameras at the pond to ensure similar incidents do not happen in the future.
As of this writing, over 5,630 people have signed a petition "to have authorities bring about the highest charges possible" to the three perpetrators.
"This was a heinous act by kids who don't have or never have had discipline," one signatory wrote. "Something has got to be done or this will continue to play out in our society."
"These inhumane degenerates need to face real consequences," said another.