LAKE CITY, Fla. – The man arrested for slamming “Pinky” the flamingo to the ground at Busch Gardens Tuesday has a violent local connection.
Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, was arrested Tuesday after witnesses told police that Corrao violently picked Pinky up while at Busch Gardens with his family and then slammed the bird down, causing such severe injuries that she had to be euthanized the following day.
That was not the first time Corrao was arrested for animal cruelty.
In 2013, Corrao was arrested and convicted of animal cruelty after he shot and killed his neighbor’s two dogs in Lake City. Corrao was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime.
News4Jax spoke with a neighbor of Carrao’s, Ciaira Weese. She said she still thinks about the incident to this day -- especially after what happened to Pinky the flamingo. Weese said she never found the body of her youngest dog, Martini, but did find her older dog, Rudy, just to the right of a nearby creek in some brush.
“He (Rudy) was really laid back,” Weese said. “He was a good dog. Always polite and everything. Martini was very sweet, too, very friendly. Always trying to lick your face. They were both really good dogs. Really good dogs to me.”
Weese said the reason Carrao killed her dogs was because he thought one of her dogs was eating his rabbits on his property, but Weese said they were inside dogs and were never left unattended.
Weese said she was surprised after hearing about Pinky, but she also believes Corrao is a dangerous man.
Corrao has a lengthy criminal record. He was convicted of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, battery and domestic violence, burglary, three DUIs within a five-year period and aggravated assault on a person 65 years or older.
Weese said she plans on keeping an eye on this story but said she hopes he’s locked up for a long time.
“I feel like I would never forgive him, but maybe if he felt bad, it would be different, but he has no remorse,” Weese said. “I know he doesn’t.”
Corrao made his first court appearance in front of a judge, and his bond was set at $5,000.