Florida man charged in flamingo's death dies after getting hit by truck
A Florida man who was charged in the death of a flamingo at Busch Gardens died after being struck by a truck earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Joseph Corrao, 48, was crossing a road near his home in Orlando on June 5, when a Ford F-150 pickup hit him. The driver of the vehicle, who came away from the incident unscathed, was not cited — although an investigation is in progress.
At the time of his death, Corrao was two months away from going on trial for the death of Pinky the flamingo. In August 2016, Corrao was visiting Busch Gardens with his mother and three children when he allegedly picked the bird up and slammed it on the ground. The impact nearly severed one of Pinky's legs and ultimately forced the park to euthanize her.
"Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park's conservation and education efforts," Busch Gardens said in a statement at the time. "She will be sorely missed."
Corrao, who had previously faced a long list of charges that included a hit and run, child abuse, driving under the influence and burglary, spent five days in jail for his crime before he was released on bail.
As Corrao's animal cruelty case progressed over the months, his public defender argued that he had mental health issues. The presiding judge requested that two psychologists examine Correa, both of whom later concluded that he was unfit for trial. One psychologist had determined that Correa suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while the other had diagnosed him with just schizophrenia.
Corrao was then ordered to undergo in-home competency restoration training, refrain from drinking alcohol, and continue taking his medication. In March, prosecutors resumed their case against him after he was deemed competent.
Last week, however, the prosecution announced that it had dropped all charges following Corrao's death. His family has since refused the Tampa Bay Times' request for comment.