Cops in Springfield, Mass., claim they watched a man surprise-attack a hawk on Tuesday, stomping the bird with his boot and continuing his assault with random objects.
At about 7 a.m., police said they slowed their cruiser to take a picture of a hawk feeding on a pigeon near the side of the road, WFSB reported.
While they watched, a man came onto the sidewalk and threw a log at the hawk. The officers reported seeing an explosion of feathers.
Then, before they had time to react, the man was on top of the bird, wielding a candlestick and his boot, which he used to stomp on the creature several times, cops said.
"I was actually shocked; it was surreal that it was happening in front of us, but it happened so quickly," Officer Michael Goggin told 22 News.
The alleged assailant was George McKenzie, 64, who was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after the attack.
Cops on Wednesday told The Huffington Post that the bird's condition is stable.
"His wings are broken, but he's alive," a spokesman for the Springfield Police Department said.The hawk -- reportedly a Cooper's Hawk -- was released into the wild and has reportedly been seen perched on a tree in Springfield.