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Posted on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:36 a.m.

Jackson man arrested after attacking parrot, Ann Arbor police say

By Lee Higgins

A Jackson man who carries his pet parrot in his backpack was arrested Tuesday night after police say he violently shook the bird as its feathers flew, causing enough of a commotion for witnesses to call 911.

The attack occurred in the 1000 block of South Main Street in Ann Arbor at about 9:30 p.m.

Police responded to three 911 calls from witnesses, who reported a man was attacking an unknown animal, Ann Arbor police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said.

Initial reports came in from the intersection of Pauline Boulevard and South Seventh Street, Bush said. Officers caught up with the man on South Main Street and saw him shaking the parrot as it was "squawking loudly" and its feathers were "flying all over," Bush said.

The bird fought back, biting the man, leaving one of his thumbs "scratched up and bloodied," Bush said. The bird had redness in one of its eyes, bald spots on the back of its head and neck and was limping, Bush said.

The man told police he was "disciplining and training" the bird, Bush said.

It was turned over to an animal rescue volunteer, Bush said.

The 49-year-old man was taken to Washtenaw County Jail. Charges are pending.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and e-mail at


Fat Bill

Sun, Sep 26, 2010 : 10:01 a.m.

Sorry Tony... I do wonder though, if one sees how chickens are processed in a poultry plant would they reconsider the next time they order a chicken sandwich? Yes, the feloow was wrong to abuse his pet, but does it really call for his incarceration at taxpayer's expense?


Thu, Sep 23, 2010 : 7:17 a.m.

@ michiganpoorboy,this article is not about children, but about animal welfare. Regrading your comment: "Animals are protected by God who made them" what if god doesn't exist? Who is responsible for protecting animals then?


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 9:03 p.m.

"... Fortunately, three bystanders bothered to get involved and called 911...." I'd also like to thank those who cared enough to call in for help. The only parrot this man is fit to own is a very well-rested Norwegian Blue.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 8:52 p.m.

Some of the comments above are hilarious. I am happy that the bird is o.k. ( other than getting its feathers ruffled) I hope it will find a good home with a person educated enough to properly own and care for such species.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 8:11 p.m.

Thank you for not removing Semper Fi's comment... LOL! Had to laugh - the parrot bit him - that had to hurt! Parrots are like feathered versions of snapping turtles! Story like this gives a whole new meaning to 'flipping the bird'...


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 8:08 p.m.

Does anyone know what kind of parrot this is? I wish they would say. I'm a bird lover/owner and I do not treat my birds like this, nor would I. I hope it doesn't get this bird back. Poor bird.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 7:12 p.m.

That parrot deserves a better owner. I hope he finds one in this mess. Some of the comments have been very funny, but seriously. This poor bird needs a break and I hope he gets one. And that's me speaking as a predatory creature.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 6:15 p.m.

You know what they say - spare the rod and spoil the parrot.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 5:36 p.m.

i hope the perp gets psitticosis.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

First off why would he be carrying a parrot around in a back pack? Leave him home in a safe place. Second why did we side with the parrot over the man? He obviously doesnt know how to work with a bird if he thought shaking a parrot would discipline him and not just teach him terror. When you terrorize a child what happens? Do you think this is the way to discipline anyone? Please this man is psychotic and doesnt need to be around any animal or small child. When we take on the responsibility of a pet we need to learn how to care for them. That is our job as the owner. He obviously didnt do this. This bird will now have to be re-trained in order to be adopted out to a caring owner. The bird will need medical care in order to recover. So please dont tell me it is no big deal. Do I rate this up with child abuse of course not. I do believe anyone who abuses animals will also abuse a child.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

Thanks for the laugh! Only in A2! Article said the bird was limping-how could it be known?


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 3:56 p.m.

I can almost guarantee that this parrot was probably talking back to its owner. It probably went something like this: Crazy Man: "No! You get in the bag." Bird: "No! You get in the bag. (Squak!)" Crazy Man: "No! I said you get in the bag." Bird: "No! I said you get in the bag. (Squak!)" Bottom line is that sometimes you need to shake that bird to teach it a lesson!!! GET IN THE BAG!!!


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 3:23 p.m.

This just in: City Council convening special session to denounce this behavior.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 2:44 p.m.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to own animals. What was rong with my original comment? Not brief enough?


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 2:23 p.m.

so he was training the bird? to play dead? Seriously, only in A2 will you hear about a bird and a guy fighting on Main Street... parrot should have taken "flight", and not stayed to fight...

Gregory Fox

Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

Fortunately, three bystanders bothered to get involved and called 911. My thanks to them.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

@SemperFi- you crack me up... and I agree he needs help- no way to treat any pet :-(


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 11:58 a.m.

I guess Polly wouldn't shut up about wanting that cracker


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 11:39 a.m.

This is a joke story designed to pull commentors chains and see how many silly posts they can get. Isn't it? Well, isn't it??


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:47 a.m.

What about Child Abuse screw the bird we kill birds and eat them every day and eat turkeys for holidays. Animals are protected by God who made them.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:47 a.m.

How horrible! Shaking a parrot is never appropriate training method. I'm glad that it was rescued. @Melissa Individual parrots can be tamed. What parrots aren't is domesticated. (Some might argue that they are partially or semi-domesticated since they are commonly bred in captivity for the pet market but are not altered in appearance or behavior from wild parrots. Excepting the Budgerigar.)

Melissa LR Handa

Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:16 a.m.

As a parrot owner, I can say with conviction that the only ways to train a parrot are through continued positive reinforcement or by putting it back in its cage (not a backpack) if it's being naughty. They're great pets, but still considered exotic and untamed--and a total handful, even for those who do know how to take care of them appropriately. It must have been a smaller parrot, because a Macaw, Cockatoo, or Grey could have taken easily torn the man's fingers off!


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

Ok, are you sure this website wasn't hijacked by the Onion? This is why I stopped reading fiction years ago.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

this would be funny for being so weird if it weren't so distrubing.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:02 a.m.

I hope this man is prosecuted for animal cruelty. Carrying the parrot in his backpack? Shaking it to train/discipline it? I do hope the man is never allowed to own an pet again.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 9:54 a.m.

I thought I had heard it all!


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 9:53 a.m.

Where does one begin to comment on a story like this? A guy walks into a psychiatrist's office with a parrot on his head. The doctor says, "How can I help you?" The parrot replies, "Can you get this guy off my butt?" Really though, this man may need to get some help if he thinks that he's training a parrot by shaking it until feathers fly. Did you hear the one about... uh, never mind.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 9:50 a.m.

My goodness. Was the bird handed over to an animal welfare organization like the human society? Bird society?