08/27/2015 07:35 EDT | Updated 08/26/2016 05:59 EDT

Trevor Beaton, Alleged Goose Killer, Pleads Not Guilty In Vancouver

Cyril Laubscher via Getty Images
Side view of a two-day-old gosling of the Red-breasted Goose, Branta ruficollis, with head in profile showing its short bill, tiny wings and webbed feet.

A 25-year-old man has pleaded not guilty over the killing of a baby goose in front of shocked bystanders near Science World earlier this year.

Trevor Beaton appeared in court in Vancouver on Wednesday to face one charge of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.

According to police, bystanders initially saw three men near a goose and her goslings near the sea wall in May. One of the men allegedly picked up a gosling.

As witnesses yelled at him to put the bird down, he allegedly took it back behind a rock and soon returned without the animal. Const. Brian Montague says the concerned bystanders went behind the rock to find the gosling dead. 

"The witnesses that observed this behavior were quite upset. Obviously very shocked to see what they saw," said Montague.

Investigators say they were able to identify Beaton as their suspect from witnesses' descriptions and by looking at surveillance video of the surrounding area.

"The incident was so serious that we recommended criminal charges," said Montague. "Crown looked at the evidence that we provided them and found that there was enough evidence to support those charges."

Beaton has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for fraud, impaired driving and forcing someone into prostitution.

Montague says the latest crime of which he's accused is unusual.

"Obviously something that we don't see in Vancouver a whole lot, thankfully. And something that was very upsetting to these people."

Beaton returns to court to face the charge in September.

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