Ali Chehade, 22, was charged on Thursday in Wayne County with third-degree animal killing -- a felony that is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000 under current Michigan law.
According to store owner Michael Simms, the Dearborn man entered the pet store with a parakeet that he wanted to return. Chehade was reportedly irate and wanted a $30 refund for the bird.
Simms, who was behind the counter during the incident, says he opened the small carrier that the bird was in, and noticed the parakeet was injured with a bloody wing -- likely bitten by another animal. The store owner says he was worried about the bird and told Chehade that he would ensure the bird receives medical attention.
“I calmed him down and continued to tell him, ‘I’ll give you credit, you can get anything in the store and I’ll make sure the bird is OK,’” Simms said. “With how irate he was, I didn’t know how he was going to care for it. I was more worried about the animal than anything.”
The man then threw the carrier on the ground and stomped the bird to death. His actions were caught on camera.
Officials say that police officers observed the dead bird in a smashed box upon arrival at the scene.
The Dearborn man took off after the incident, but Allen Park police were able to track him down.
Chehade was arraigned in Wayne County on Thursday morning. He is being held on a $50,000 bond, was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and is no longer allowed to have animals or pets in his home, officials said.
He is expected to appear in court again on June 7.