Animal Cruelty Charges for Peninsula Point Fiasco

Two men were charged with Animal Cruelty for their role in destroying birds nests at Balboa’s Peninsula Point, as we reported on June 1st, 2015.   The event happened when a private party contracted with Tim Greenleaf Engineering to clear their property which included a tree.  This tree contained several birds nests.  When they began scoping the tree out, a concerned neighbor came up to them to inform them that the tree had nesting birds and eggs.  These eggs were set to hatch in just a few weeks, so if they waited just a bit, it would all be good.

Instead, the workers unleashed a lengthy stream of quite demeaning words at the woman, which, in printable words, essentially told her to leave.  The tree takedown, initially scheduled for a few days from that time, then began immediately.  Birds fell to the ground– many dying– unhatched eggs and newly born baby birds smashed into the concrete as limbs fell from the tree.  Neighbors rushed in to help as the construction crews relentlessly cut down limb after limb of the tree with birds inside them and humans underneath.

Insults from the workers continued long after– and even continued from them in online news comments sections.

The irresponsibility of this incident cannot be overstated.

Thankfully, the Jennifer Malone from the DA will be prosecuting this case, and we hope to see a fair resolution.

Stephen John Esser, 47 of Dana Point, and David Roger Stanley, 40 of Downey are both charged with the following crimes:
1 – misdemeanor count of unlawful possession and destruction of bird nests/eggs
1- misdemeanor count of unlawful taking of migratory nongame birds
1- one misdemeanor count of harassing a bird or mammal.

If convicted on all charges, they each face a potential maximum sentence of 18 months in jail.
Interestingly, Tim Greenleaf Engineering is not being held responsible in any known way whatsoever.



About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at