Traffic stop results in bizarre,
"shocking" incident with Emu
A routine traffic stop along S.R. 80 near Douglas led DPS HighwayPatrol Officer Jeff Richardson into a bizarre incident with a “shocking” ending.
While conducting a traffic stop on S.R. 80, five miles west of
Douglas, Richardson raised the ire of an Emu that approached him
from across the right of way fence. Obviously unimpressed by the current Class C uniform worn by
Richardson, the Emu attempted to get at Richardson through the fence and exhibited a great deal of aggression. Richardson learned that the Emu did not belong in the field, and was a stray. County animal control did not want anything to do with this “Big Bird” so a call was made to Arizona Livestock Officer Kathy Shelton. She arrived on scene with a rope and a stock trailer. Assisted by Officer Richardson and DPS Officer Tony Morales, the livestock officer attempted to run down and rope the bird, without success. The Emu warded off the officer’s attempts to get close with sharp talons and a busy beak. DPS Sgt. Dan Long also arrived to assist with the operation, along with a local rancher and a Cochise County Deputy. The Emu continued trying to get across the fence onto S.R. 80. While being cornered by Officer Richardson and the livestock officer, the Emu jumped the right of way fence onto a dirt lane adjacent to S.R. 80. To contain the Emu and prevent the bird from mingling with traffic, Long decided to allow use of the officer’s TASERs to stun the bird while it was roped by livestock. Surprisingly, Richardson was able to get close enough to the bird to deploy his TASER. When he deployed the non-lethal weapon, he scored a direct hit on the Emu and it quickly went down in the brush. The livestock officer held the Emu and began to wrap its legs. Officer Richardson had to cycle his TASER three times before the wires broke away from the Emu. Sgt. Long then deployed his TASER for three cycles to keep the Emu down. This, thankfully, ended the drama. The Emu was placed in the stock trailer and its legs released. The barbs were removed and from the enthusiasm demonstrated
by the Emu when released, it was not injured. The Emu is now available to a good home. Operation “Big Bird” will no doubt be a crucial case study in the ever
evolving controversy over TASER use.
Those guys don't stand a chance at anyone believing that story without carrying the newspaper clipping in their pocket.
"Oh yeah, well one time my partner and I had to Taser an Emu to get it under control."
"Yeah, right, just STFU and buy the next round already."
About four years ago, two of our guys had to corral one which was on an Interstate on-ramp, running in and out of traffic. They chased it around on foot for a few minutes, then Big Bird ran down an embankment into a kudzu patch, & got tangled up in the green jungle. While he/she/it was thrashing around, they waded into the patch & tackled the bird. Then they had to figure out how to get the critter out without losing control again, so they handcuffed (legcuffed?) the bird, & dragged it out of the patch, still fighting. Animal control showed up, loaded the bird into a pickup truck & took it back to the owner. The owner told the deputies not to ever do that again, that the birds are very capable of doing serious injury with their feet, & if they ran up against another one to use a shotgun on it.
LOL! A few years ago, we had an emu running around on one of the fields down here. For several days, the guys were calling County and animal control, but nobody wanted to come out and catch it. The land owner didn't want it on his property but wasn't going to mess with it either.
Being a slow day, we decided to try and catch it. An hour later we were all winded and filthy, but we caught the beast when it ran into the brush and couldn't run anywhere. We tied him up with some rescue ropes and tried to get someone to come out and take him away. We finally found a private party to come and get him onto a trailer and take him away.
I've got an unusual group picture of us with an emu that I keep on my desk.