Two swans beaten to death allegedly by lake association board member in Kosciusko County

A board member that oversees a string of lakes in Kosciusko County is accused of beating two swans to death.

It happened Saturday and now people living in the Tippecanoe area are upset.

Witness Rhonda Doyle says she saw one of the Barbee Lake Property Owners Association board members, George Hiatt, kill two swans.

The swans are well known on Sechrist Lake and even been named Ernie and Bertha.

Doyle says she saw Hiatt shoot the two birds with a pellet gun then beat them to death with an oar.

“My husband and I watched one of them take a pellet gun and shoot the male, as it was laying there flopping around in the water, another man got into the kayak, tied it up and drug it back to the pontoon and we watched him take that boat oar and beat it to death,” she says.

Although there is an over population on area lakes neighbors say this isn't the case.

Word spread quickly about the situation on-line and now neighbors living on Sechrist want answers.

“The way they went about it, I think they could have notified people,” says Barbara Sledge from the neighborhood watch group. “Why they singled them out… it’s just cruel and inhumane. That's what everybody says.”

The DNR plans to meet with the two board members that carry the nuisance animal control permit on Thursday.

The permit only grants a person permission to oil a mute swan's eggs or use a firearm if the animal is posing a safety threat.

In three weeks there will be a board meeting and neighbors are already planning on attending.

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