*** WARNING *** – This story contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing.
WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The hot topic in Waterbury today wasn’t the scorching heat.
By the time many people woke up, pictures on social media posts already got people boiling. They showed feathers all over the road — that’s what was left of a scene from early Sunday morning when a car plowed into 20 geese on a road next to Lakewood Park — where many Canada geese roam and swim in the water.
“I think it’s horrible,” said park-goer, Michael Bereira. “People shouldn’t be running over animals.”
The pictures also caught the attention of the Waterbury Police Department.
“They’re horrific,” said Fernando Spagnolo, Waterbury’s Deputy Police Chief.
He says the department has opened a criminal investigation.
“I feel very, very bad that wildlife had to sustain those injuries, that carnage,” said Deputy Chief Spagnolo.
People who live near Lakewood Park want to know if it was intentional.
“It’s sad, very sad,” Waterbury resident John Longo said. “If somebody just wanted to kill them it’s not good.”
Police say they were able to track down the owner of the car rather easily — part of a bumper and a license plate fell off the car and was left at the scene. However, they say the owner of the car wasn’t behind the wheel when the incident happened. She wasn’t even in the car and so far, police say she hasn’t told them who was.
“Her claim is she didn’t know, but we’re finding it hard to believe that she wouldn’t have any idea who the operator of her vehicle was,” Spagnolo said.
The Deputy Chief says once they do find the person behind wheel, that driver could face numerous charges, including animal cruelty charges and charges related to evading the scene. The car owner could face some trouble, too, because under Connecticut law, if your car is involved in a situation where there’s property damage and the driver of your car caused it, you are liable. Police also say there were registration issues with her car.
Police expect to get answers soon.