Firefighter charged with killing Mass. neighbor's chickens

CBS News

CARLISLE, Mass. -- A suburban Boston firefighter has been arrested and placed on administrative leave amid allegations he poisoned and killed 11 of his neighbor's chickens.

Police in Carlisle told The Lowell Sun that 66-year-old local resident Frank Sargent fed the chickens food pellets laced with rat poison between April and July in his neighbor's backyard chicken coop. He was charged with 11 counts of malicious killing of a domestic animal on July 28.

A police report says Sargent initially denied the allegations, but later admitted that he poisoned the chickens because their noise was keeping him and his family up at night. Sargent had contacted town officials and police several times to complain about the noise.

Police said Sargent was captured on video distributing the poisonous pellets, according to the Sun. During his arraignment last Wednesday, he was ordered by the judge to have no further contact with the neighbors.

"I couldn't sleep. I couldn't take it anymore," Sargent was quoted in the police report, obtained by the paper. "I mixed mouse poison with bird seed and... brought it over in a bucket and just threw it in [the coop]."

The suspect also allegedly admitted to dousing the birds with a can of wasp and hornet-killer spray. "I know it sounds crazy, but I got to the point where I thought the bird was mocking me. So I sprayed it with hornet spray just to make it stop," said Sargent, according to the report.

Sargent's family told the Sun that he had no comment. The chicken's owners also declined to comment.