ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- A Rhode Island man accused of stomping to death a Canada goose and five goslings said he did it because he felt threatened by the birds.
Before he left for work Saturday, John A. Sanders asked his mom what would make her Mother's Day. She said she wanted to visit the zoo.
Instead, in a bizarre twist, Sanders, 33, spent the early part of yesterday behind bars in Attleboro on charges that he had fatally injured a Canada goose and stomped to death five goslings.
John A. Sanders, 33, was supposed to be arraigned Monday in Attleboro District Court on charges of animal cruelty and disorderly conduct. But News Channel 10's Larry Estepa reported that Sanders' lawyer was not present, and the judge continued the case until later this month.
Sanders, an industrial engineer from North Kingstown, was working at a Texas Instruments plant in Attleboro on Saturday. According to the police report, he was walking on the campus when an adult goose hissed at Sanders, who slipped and fell in mud.
"Angered by this fall, he began his rampage, chasing the goslings and kicking them," the report said.
A witness reported seeing Sanders running across the grass, shouting and stopping to jump up and down. The witness called police, who found two goslings flattened on the parking lot, and three more dead on the grass.
The adult goose, believed to be the goslings' mother, was taken to an animal hospital in West Bridgewater, where it was euthanized Sunday because its injuries were too severe, said Karen Harvey, Attleboro's animal control officer.
"I felt threatened, then when I slipped, I felt desperate because they were all around me," Sanders said in a telephone interview with The Boston Globe.
My life demonstrates that I'm not a callous, hard, uncaring sort of person," he said. "I'm heartbroken over what happened."
Linda Megathlin, a spokeswoman for Texas Instruments, said Sanders was a contract employee hired through Olsten Staffing Services.