ANDOVER -- Three teens who killed one chicken and beat others at a children's nature camp have been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, police said.
The boys, ages 13, 14, and 15, were caught after a videotape they made of the alleged animal torture was found.
''The way they came in and killed the chickens -- I'm appalled," said Jim Loscutoff Sr., a former Boston Celtics player and founder of Evergreen Camp.
The tape allegedly shows the boys, whose identities were not released because of their ages, beating the chickens with fishing rods and lacrosse sticks and killing one by setting it afire, using a lighter and aerosol can.
The tape also showed the boys tossing a chicken into a pond and throwing rocks at it.
''In the 30 years I've been doing this, I've seen a lot, but this is very disturbing to watch," said Andover police Lieutenant Kevin Winters.
The boys were released to their parents after they were arraigned on animal cruelty and vandalism charges Friday in the juvenile division of Lawrence District Court.
One of the boys admitted his involvement when interviewed by the Boston Herald.
''It started out innocent," he said. ''We just wanted the roosters to chase us so we threw sticks at them, but it got too far over the line. It was a stupid thing because those animals didn't deserve it."
The boys were charged after Loscutoff's 19-year-old granddaughter, who works at the camp, found the tape in a bag on the camp grounds.