Friday, September 29, 2006

Possum-Induced Hijinks

Gosh, I really wish this incident had happened locally, instead of in San Diego. It would have been such a great addition to my Dixiana collection. Of course, if it had happened here, the whole story would have ended very differently. While the old boys down here may quail at the thought of driving in sleet, they know how to deal with opossums.

First of all, a large opossum wandering through your neighborhood is a pretty common event here. If you called the sheriff about it, he'd laugh at you.
Second, most of the old boys pack. If somebody took it into his head that a given 'possum had to go, he'd probably take care of it himself. On the other hand, the Rottie might still get plugged if the guy had been drinking. And technically you're not supposed to go around firing off weapons in residential areas, so he might get tasered nonetheless.
Finally, if the offending 'possum didn't get out of there, he could just end up as somebody's dinner.

I found the story here

Opossum Clash Ends With Arrest, Dog Shot

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A dispute that began over the capture of an opossum in a residential neighborhood ended with police shooting a Rottweiler and arresting a man after stunning him with a Taser gun.
A fight broke out in the Talmadge area of San Diego after a resident saw a large opossum running in the area Tuesday and asked a maintenance worker to corral the feral animal, prompting a call to police.


[CORRECTION: This is incorrect use of the word feral. A feral animal is a member of a domesticated species that goes wild. Opossums are not domesticated; therefore this one was clearly not feral. Appropriate uses of the word would include: "Feral dogs pose a threat to livestock in the rural counties hereabouts" and "A feral Tom beat up my neighbor's old housecat." 'Possums aren't feral; they're just 'possums.]

An officer at the scene shot a Taser gun at one man who became combative, according to police reports.
The man removed the barbs and fled through a neighboring yard, where a Rottweiler allegedly came at the officer. The officer fired several shots in self-defense, police said.
The man was found and arrested a short time later. Police said they were evaluating him for being under the influence.
The dog was taken to an animal hospital. Its condition was not immediately available.

09/27/06 21:53 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


I'm still trying to figure out what all the fuss was about; I imagine a scene like something from James Thurber's memoirs. The 'possum, one has to assume, got away clean.

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