Office of the State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County Secures Guilty Plea in Felony Animal Cruelty Case
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that our office secured a conviction of one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty against Ethan R. Fowler, 21, of Stevensville for tossing a duckling out of a moving vehicle while on the Lane Memorial Bridge (Bay Bridge). Based on the serious nature of the offense, the prosecutor requested that the Court impose an active period of incarceration, along with five years of supervised probation.
“Abusing defenseless animals is an intolerable act,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “I take these crimes seriously and those who commit cruelty to animals, like this defendant, will be held accountable for their actions.”
On April 19, 2020, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police received information regarding an animal cruelty case that occurred at the Lane Memorial Bridge. The information they received included a Twitter link of a video of the incident. On the video, the defendant, later identified as Ethan Fowler, was seen holding a duckling in his hand while driving over the Lane Memorial Bridge. Fowler then, laughing, threw the duckling out of the window of the moving vehicle and over the side of the bridge. During the investigation, police met with Fowler who admitted to his role in the crime.
The State’s Attorney’s Office obtained the services of a local veterinarian, Dr. Benjamin Reichenbach, who would have been offered as an expert in veterinary medicine and veterinary science. Dr. Reichenbach indicated that the duckling likely died as a result of being thrown out of the window while traveling in an automobile on the Bay Bride.
The Honorable Mark Crooks, who presided over the case, sentenced Mr. Fowler to one year of incarceration, all of which was suspended, and placed the defendant on five years of probation with other ordered conditions that he must complete.
Assistant State’s Attorney Maria Stamidis prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.