Kona teens took joy in killing bird, owner says
KAILUA-KONA » A Kona teenager is back on the street and laughing about stomping on the neck of a pet parrot during a burglary, pet owner Simmy McMichael said.
The teenage burglar swatted McMichael's female yellow-naped Amazon parrot, Simmy Bird, and then killed it during the 2 a.m. Oct. 18 burglary, McMichael said.
McMichael knew details of the incident because the teenager, part of a group she described as a gang, was boasting and laughing about it later, Kailua residents told McMichael.
Police arrested four teenagers over the weekend, charging them with burglary -- including the alleged parrot killer, who was charged with cruelty to animals. A fifth boy was questioned and released.
Capt. Robert Hickcox said the group "may have been somewhat organized," and police are looking for other suspects.
McMichael has owned the Pacific Vibrations surf shop for 28 years. It was home for Simmy Bird for the past 24, she said. (When McMichael took Simmy Bird home, the parrot complained, "Let's go bye-bye," until she was returned to the store.)
When Kailua residents learned the bird was killed, some were distraught. "I've never seen so many grown men cry," McMichael said.
A mother said her little girl dropped to the ground in tears when she heard the news.
"Even the homeless people were crying," McMichael said. One said, "I knew when I had too many drinks, because she wouldn't talk to me."
The teenagers used walkie-talkies to warn of approaching police, gloves to protect their hands from broken glass in the showcase window where they entered, and bags to collect the merchandise, including sunglasses and T-shirts, McMichael said.
The juveniles were released after being taken to Family Court, McMichael said.
"Is this a slap on the wrist?" she asked police.
She said an officer answered, "Yes."
Hickcox said, "Some excellent work was done by patrol officers," with follow-up work done by the Juvenile Aid Section. He declined to comment further.
McMichael said the boys are not like other teenagers. "They're dangerous. They're a different bunch. They're mean," she said.
If they'll kill a bird and laugh about it afterward, she asked, what's to stop them from hurting a person?