Terry Wayne Washington of Austin has been charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal and unauthorized taking of wildlife after beating a snapping turtle to death with a claw hammer. Washington was fishing with a friend in Austin’s Lady Bird Lake when he snagged the 40 pound reptile. Washington was apparently annoyed that the turtle had been chasing away fish and decided to dispatch it with the tool at hand. According to witnesses, Washington struck the snapper at least ten times finally crushing its skull. Washinton would like have escaped trouble but for Geoffrey Frank who was jogging on the hike and bike trail around the lake and caught the last few blows on his cell phone.
After turning himself in, Washington claimed self-defense and that he was protecting himself from the raging reptile – claims which are belied by the video evidence. Now Red has seen a few snappers in his time and you don’t want to mess with them. But if you can’t out run a speeding turtle, then maybe you should consider staying at home.