Rodney Thomas, 50, father of Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of killing a bald eagle.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, this violates the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The incident reportedly occurred on May 12 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Thomas allegedly used an air rifle to kill the bird and turned himself in to authorities soon after the reported shooting.
Local residents told the New York Post that two bald eagles had lived in the area for decades. Now, there’s only one of the protected birds remains.
“This office remains committed to investigating and prosecuting environmental and wildlife offenses under federal law, including the unlawful killing of bald eagles — the United States’ national bird since 1782,” said Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan.
UPDATE on death of BALD EAGLE. The federal government has CHARGED 50-YEAR-OLD RODNEY THOMAS of Canonsburg. Officials say he shot a mature bald eagle with an air rifle on May 12 in Mount Pleasant. ￼#WTAE pic.twitter.com/0gcP3j9AfP
— Marcie Cipriani (@MCipriani_WTAE) July 18, 2023
Rodney Thomas II, the football player, was a 7th-round pick out of Yale in the 2022 NFL Draft. He played all 16 games for Indianapolis last year, recording 34 tackles and four interceptions.
Rodney Thomas, the elder, was released on $10,000 bail and could face $5,000 in fines and up to a year in prison.