A man was arrested today on suspicion of punching Crystal Palace FC’s official live Bald Eagle mascot, Kayla.
The incident occurred on September 23 during a Crystal Palace Capital One Cup game, where they defeated Charlton at Selhurst Park 4-1.
The man – who has not been named – 34, from Welling, was arrested this morning on the suspicion of attempted criminal damage and violent disorder. He currently remains in custody at a South London police station.
Police Detective Sergeant Andy Collin said Croydon Police acquired video footage of the man attempting to punch Kayla.
“Before the game picked up a Charlton Fan aimed a punch when the eagle [Kayla] was walking on the ground. No-one has been charged yet”, he said.
The punching incident may be linked to other disturbances that occurred during the game, which were investigated by the Croydon Police.
“There was disorder before, during, and after the game by Charlton fans. Crystal Palace fans were also involved after the game”, said Collin.
Raids were made throughout London and Kent, and six men were arrested on Wednesday in Plumstead, Welling, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Rochester, and Greenwich for alleged violent disorder.
“A number of people have been arrested”, said Collin and five of the six men originally arrested remain in custody at a South East London Police station. 20-year-old Zach Ellis from Clinton Road, Tower Hamlets, was charged with “assault by beating” and has been bailed till a December 10 court date at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
Collin said: “Violence amongst supporters has no place in football; be it before, during or after a match. These arrests show that anyone who chooses to engage in violence, will be pursued by officers and arrested.”
Croydon Police is still investigating whether or not the attempted punch incident is connected to other disturbances.
No harm came to Kayla, who is a Canadian born eagle that lives at the Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation in Kent. She has been cawing at Selhurst Park for the past five years.
Anyone with further information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.