OSPREY, Fla. - "I was almost hysterical," said Bev Meadows, thinking back.
For years, Bev Meadows has been watching and enjoying the birds that consider these two islands their homes. All from the comfort of her back yard. So she couldn't believe what she was seeing last Sunday evening.
"I saw the first flash come about 8:30, and I knew immediately, with a huge bang that it was a something very loud, explosive, and I ran to the edge of the pool. And I could see the second one go off," Meadows recalled.
Meadows says it was fireworks that were shot into the bird habitat, known as a rookery, from the backyard of a nearby house. She quickly called police.
"In the meantime, they discharged a third and a fourth one. It was like a line drive," said Meadows.
Wendy Rose, with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office explained, "We were called to a report of someone shooting fireworks at birds on the rookery in the lake at the Oaks."
The residents of the home, Thomas and Page Halpin admitted to deputies that they set off the fireworks over their ongoing frustrations with the birds. The couple couldn't be reached for comment and haven't been charged.
"At this point, we have concluded our investigation and we have discussed it with the FWC who is continuing their investigation," Rose said.
This all took place at The Oaks, a golf club and residential development. The Oaks has been granted a permit by FWC to remove inactive nests from the two islands and to clear out invasive species of growth.
Meadows is disappointed by that and plans to fight to keep the bird habitat healthy for years to come.
"We should be saying how wonderful this is to have in our community rather than trying to destroy it," Meadows said.
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Dale Mabry Highway is closed from Columbus Ave. south to at least Spruce Av. after a man was hit and killed by a fuel tanker truck while crossing the highway Friday morning. The roadway remains closed.