Man Stomps Bird to Death in Pet Store After Being Denied Refund

A man was caught on camera brutally stomping a parakeet to death inside a Michigan pet store last week.

The 22-year-old was attempting to return the $30 bird to the Critter Pet Shop in Allen Park, southwest of Detroit, when a staff member noticed the pet was injured.

"We saw the whole wing was bloody. So we're thinking his bird did it to it or another animal might have done something to the bird so my brother said there's nothing we can do for you with the bird, now," Rick Simms, the owner of the pet store, told Fox2 Detroit.

Simms' brother, Michael, was running the counter at the time and said he could try and save the parakeet, but could not offer the man a refund. Instead, he offered the man store credit, due to the condition of the injured parakeet.

"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.' 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," Michael Simms told ClickOnDetroit.

Critter Pet Shop Michigan
A Detroit man is facing charges after he brutally killed a bird inside the Critter Pet Shop in Allen Park, Michigan. Google Maps

"The bird was in a box, he took his fist—smashed it right on top. Threw the bird off the counter with the smashed box—it probably was already dead—threw him on the ground and stomped him two times with his feet," Rick Simms told Fox. "That's pure anger to stomp a little old parakeet like that."

In the video, the man can be seen placing a small cardboard box on the counter before arguing with the employee behind the desk. He waves his hands erratically before slamming his palm onto the box and continuing to pummel the animal with his foot on the floor.

The customer, from Dearborn in the Detroit metropolitan area, is facing animal cruelty charges for the bird's death, police said.

"Nowadays the level of crazy keeps one-upping itself," Allen Park Police Detective Jim Thorburn told Fox.

"I'm surprised this didn't escalate into assault and battery. The restraint by the other owner was incredible. That restraint was a good thing," Thorburn said in reference to the calm demeanor displayed by the pet shop staff.

However, Rick Simms said the violent incident affected his brother and left him shaken up.

"He came to my house that night and his voice was crackling—kind of like mine is right now—because talking about and thinking about what I've seen on that film, kind of upsets you," Rick Simms said.

The veteran pet shop owner holds concerns for any other pets the man may own, and his loved ones.

"If he's doing it to an animal, what's he doing to his family or his friends?" he asked.

Newsweek has contacted the Allen Park Police Department and the Critter Pet Shop for comment.

parakeet
File photo: A rose-ringed parakeet seen eating seeds out of a man's hand. A pet parakeet was brutally killed in an attack that was caught on camera at a pet store in Michigan. ASHRAF SHAZLY/Getty Images