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Posted on Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Milan man charged with killing goose tells police: It didn't move out of the way

By Heidi Fenton

When asked by police why a Canada goose was found lying dead behind his vehicle in an American Legion parking lot, a 69-year-old Milan man offered a simple reply: It didn’t move out of the way.

Norman Stowell said he didn’t mean to run over a group of animals May 14, but he was not going to stop, wait or drive around them to get to a parking spot.

“I might not run over a dog, but I would definitely run over a cat,” Norman Melvern Stowell told an officer who interviewed him that day, shortly after the goose was found.


A Canada goose with goslings.

Steve Pepple |

That statement, detailed in a Milan Police report, was taken shortly after neighbors living nearby called to report a man had driven over a group of baby Canada geese just after 7 p.m.

Stowell was arraigned Wednesday before Magistrate Camille Horne in Washtenaw 14A District Court and is charged with one count of killing or torturing an animal. He remains free on a promise to appear in court and did not return a message left at his home Thursday.

According to Milan Police, a woman calling from the American Legion, 44 Wabash Street, reported seeing a man run over a group of Canada geese with a red Jeep Compass that May 14 evening.

Upon arrival, an officer found the Jeep parked haphazardly in a rear parking lot. A baby Canada goose lay dead in the grass about 50 feet behind, the police report says.

As the officer approached the female witness, she told him she had watched the collision from her nearby home.

The woman told police the suspect, who has since been identified as Stowell, drove into a rear parking area of the American Legion and made a wide U-turn as he headed back toward the building. In the process, he “sped up” and drove directly over a group of geese walking in the grass, as they began to scatter, she said.

The woman told police she yelled at Stowell for apparently running them over and he then “flipped her off” as he walked back into the legion building.

The responding officer said Stowell described police intervention as “a great way to waste our tax dollars,” but was advised the report would go to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Russell Covel, who also lives near the American Legion, said Thursday he was looking out a back window the day of the collision and saw a red vehicle pull into the grassy lot and speed around in a turn. Minutes later, he heard his neighbor yell.

Covel said birds often wander through the area from nearby Ford Lake. He questioned, with the parking lot being empty, what the harm was in allowing birds the time to cross.

“I just thought it was a bizarre thing to happen. It really shouldn’t have happened there at all,” he said.

Heidi Fenton covers police and courts for Reach her at or 734-623-4673. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

Come on people - this is all one sided as told from the reporting woman's version. No one talked to Norman, or reported what he had to say. I go to the Legion in Milan and happen to know that many people park in the grassy area to leave the parking lot open for our Veterans who have trouble walking or are otherwise infirm. Nobody "speeds up" on the grass, there are horseshoe pits, picnic tables, and a lake back there! (not to mention numerous trees that line the lake). We have wire up by the lake to dissuade the geese from coming onto the lawn, but the people in the houses (apartments) behind the lake throw food over the fence to call the geese up on the lawn (a township violation). There are so many geese in Milan that the lake has fecal contamination and the kids can't fish anymore. The sidewalks at the park and Sunset Point are covered in goose feces and you can't let your kids play. Your innocent until proven guilty in this country (at least right now) - don't hang the man before the facts are all known.


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

Just think what else this individual has done in his 69 years on Earth. Very sad and evil.


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. — Mahatma Gandhi

Animal Lover

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.



Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

Ignorance of the facts or the inability to process them is not a crime. But having the ability to Know Better and Act Better but doing wrong anyway is called: conscious evil. Fact: parent geese will stand their ground to defend their goslings. Fact: goslings lack the ability to detect danger OR "the rights of humans" and cannot run out of the way as fast as -- some people would like. Re: our Canada geese "problem" - is actually the conflict of human desires. We want wildlife around us - it's a natural human instinct. We are the ONE species which regularly conducts communication with and relationships with other (very different) species. But then the wildlife doesn't seem to follow our methods of waste excretion. The geese poop wherever their bodies need to, so do the raccoons which choose the Huron River, thus infecting our greatest natural water resource with e coli bacteria. We can only do something about the goose excrement: stop feeding them, chase them off grassy areas we want to use, install some barriers (fences) where practical. Geese do, finally, get the message and will move on (they have wings and can fly at over 30 mph, you know). The truth is that there's a lot of people who do not have the stomach for culling wildlife and are willing to protest such acts by others even when they remain "innocent." Thus culling the geese is "not possible" - unless we adopt the same methods we use on invading geese: don't feed them, chase them off or cull the population of fixated "animal loving" neurotics if they refuse to leave. :-)


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

Hear, hear, BRB11! If this story had been about a drunk driver running over a person (or according to Norman, even a dog), while the outrage would be higher, I doubt any commenter here would be siding with the drunk driver. This story has garnered 170 and counting comments because clearly people feel strongly both ways (for the geese, for the driver, against the geese, against Norman, etc.). Truly shows American individualism, Freedom od Speech and bipartisanship at its finest.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

Especially for the geese.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Once again, for the commenters who fail to understand this, the number of comments on a particular story is based not on the severity of the offense, but the nature of the circumstances. Consider this: How many comments do you think each of the following stories would generate? 1) Milan man charged with killing two year old child tells police: She didn't move out of the way 2) Drunk driver runs over and kills goose. Clearly the first story would get more comments. My point is, it's not the fact that it was a goose that is creating the outrage. It's the callousness and almost contempt for the life of a fellow creature that makes this story so appalling. Geese get killed all the time, and it doesn't make news. It's the act of seeing an animal and making a conscious decision to end its life because you can't be troubled to stop your car for a second that generates the outrage (and in turn, the large number of comments). If he had done this to a human being and reacted the same way, the outcry would only be amplified.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Whoa, wait a minute here! To zeeba and all those who complain about the Canadian Goose problem or Ducks! WE humans created this problem by insisting on nice short grass habitat on Golf courses, around water holding areas, Lawns and especially in Prison yards where there will be no shooting. The geese and ducks just took advantage of our generosity in making their dreams come true! Great places to raise and feed their families. We have too many now? Tough! Get rid of the habitat WE create that encourages them and until that happens, don't expect animals not to take advantage of what we provide. We need to take responsibility for this and being responsible also means not running over them with our vehicles!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

OK. Your house and yard goes first. The geese were there before you were.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

What collision? Odd word to describe a baby goose being run over.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

162 comments and counting Ann Arbor commenters never fail to amaze with their investment in "cause" stories or issues a person could have been run over by a drunk driver and there would not be this many comments

Mylene J.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

I am ashamed of the fact that this is a 69 yr old man-- my generation. We are in sad shape in America when this is the heritage that some are leaving their children. What a picture! A grown man, so selfish that he doesn't have a minute to spare to go around defenseless babies, so ignorant of compassion, and so immuture that he thinks the middle finger is a just comment!! As a good professional friend of mine often commented, " This is so junior high school". (Not to say that all middle schoolers would do this, but the level of immaturity speaks for itself in this man.) I also hope they throw the book at you and you have to pay through the nose for your lack of humanity!! Also, what would you have to say if someone ran over your dog or hit you kids because they "didn't have the time to wait a minute and weren't about to take time to go around them to get to a parking spot!!!" Pure stupidity! I hope you are proud of your extremely poor example to our youth.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

It's kinda scary to think that we share the same roadways with anyone who'd do what this guy is accused of.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

Sure hope no cats or little kids make him made or get in his way!

Thomas Jones

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Let us ALL remember what it means to be AMERICAN PLEASE!!!!! We are all innocent until PROVEN GUILTY!!!! That my friends is bi-partisan!!!!!!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

While reading all posts, everyone please make a mental substitution from "Norman Stowell" to "whoever did this"!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Umm he admitted he did it and why! Its not a question of if he is guilty, its a question of what kind of punishment. Bi-partisan has nothing to do with it!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

one less yard carp!!! YES


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

Hear hear

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

What is a "Yard Carp" and where can I get one? I'd love me some Yard Carp. I assume like coy, but without the water?

Steve Pepple

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

A comment containing masked swearing has been removed.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

Norman clearly requires counseling if he's spewing this type of hate and indifference: "I might not run over a dog, but I would definitely run over a cat," Norman Melvern Stowell And, please, please hold him accountable for his actions, dear law enforcement officials. This guy is a real piece of work.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 8:14 a.m.

"A great way to waste our tax dollars?" Those tax dollars are only used because individuals volunteer to commit crimes. Individuals found guilty should be required to make full civil restitution for the "tax dollars" they required to be invested in correcting their bad behavior.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 6:59 a.m.

I hope this Milan man gets what he deserves. Bird security is an important issue for all of us and does a great job of keeping us informed about the important issues facing our quiet college town. Good thing we built up city hall and hired all those new police officers for all this crime going on! * Oct 9, 2009 - Keep your pet cats indoors to protect bird populations * May 3, 2010 - Driver deliberately hit and killed a mother duck while she was leading her ducklings across the road. * Jul 10, 2010 - The tale of a troubled house finch that found refuge at the Bird Center of Washtenaw County * Sep 24, 2010 - Barn owl at Leslie Science and Nature Center finds new owners who give a hoot * Nov 2, 2010 - Parrot that was 'violently' shaken in Ann Arbor is recovering, investigators say (+6 follow up stories) * Jan 28, 2011 - Concern over possibly injured swan in Saline's Mill Pond Park highlights conflict over non-native species * Mar 31, 2011 - Runaway Saline chicken finds temporary home, but owner sought * Apr 26, 2011 - Man deliberately ran over ducklings with a Hummer, Ann Arbor police say (+6 follow up stories) * Jun 27, 2011 - Baby ducklings saved from Ann Arbor storm sewer drain * Jul 7, 2011 - Milan man charged with killing goose tells police: It didn't move out of the way Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a deliciously crispy Peking duck and foie gras meal with duck sauce. All this senseless mistreatment of animals is, well, for the birds.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

I think you missed my point in my post, because I posted this to show how unusually prevalent stories specifically about birds on is. This is a trend anybody with a clear mind could see if they visit for their news. Now, I understand our town has a lot of trees, welcoming birds and other wildlife. I think that's great, but is this a trend because it is newsworthy or is it a trend because readers are emotionally attached to animal crime stories and animal interest stories, specifically the ones I posted involving birds? I'm not trying to be judgmental to readers who like stuff like that, but this type of fluff news is actually some of the most popular stories on and this story here is simply another example. Less than half of those headlines are from stories which are "a chronicle of cruelty of people toward helpeless animals". You say I missed the point of all these stories by a mile? You clearly didn't even take the time to consider the headlines I posted. The connection you and Voice of reason make about these potentially escalating to harming people is understandable, but more paranoid fantasy conclusion from psychotic killer stories than reality. I think stories like these are important on a societal level because clearly it is an interest of readers on if they post them at all, but please, don't turn petty crime stories into sensational delusions. I think your passion about treating animal lives with value is correct, but I'm not totally buying your connection that the lack of that leads to devaluing human lives. We have established a society among humans where the rules are clear, and we have obviously valued human lives over animal lives. To bring up a generalization that "every" serial killer started by torturing and killing animals is irresponsible and shows me the extent that you wish to express your opinion on harming animals. While many of the well documented serial killers did, not all

Voice of reason

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

Exactly Remember the unidentified person that was skinning pets a few years back? I'm sure he graduated to people by now.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 7:54 a.m.

Actually, you've missed the point of all of these stories by a mile. What they are is a chronicle of cruelty of people toward helpless animals, and some of them will escalate to harming people. And that means this is an issue of significant concern on a societal level. The less value peple put on any form of life, the less value they eventually extend to their own kind. Not that being abusive to an animal isn't bad enough - I think it is. But it is well-documented and established now that every serial killer started by torturing and killing animals. I already believe there is a bigger problem when people read a story like this and have a sarcastic or otherwise non-concerned reaction.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 6:56 a.m.

It just warms the heart that my tax money goes to Social Security for 69-year-olds like Norman Stowell.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

C'mon, he was obviously heading to the American Legion to perform some extremely important service to mankind. Or to knock off a bunch of PBRs.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to hit one but I wouldn't be too upset if I did. There is a huge part of Gallop Park you can't enjoy because there is so much goose poop there, on the grass and sidewalks. They also push mallards out the way. They are an invasive species as far as I am concerned. Over populated and I think I read that the majority of bird strikes with planes were Canada Geese. Geese will really goose you if given the chance, I haven't been pinched by one but I know someone that was. Nasty Nasty things.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

poop, they poop a lot


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 7:46 a.m.

Well you certainly know nothing about geese. They are very intelligent, fastidiously clean, friendly and only aggressive when protecting their nest or young against people who annoy them - as any parent would do. They are loyal mates, devoted parents and mallard ducks actually hang out with them because the geese act as protectors and lookouts. If you chase geese away, you will usually find other waterfowl goes away as well. As for airplane strikes, the Wildlife Strikes Database shows that that less than .068 percent of all aircraft operations struck wildlife. Of birds involved, geese account for one of fewest number of strikes. In addition, according to statistics, 45 % of all fatal accidents are due to pilot error, followed by mechanical failure.. Canada geese are native to all of North America. Their name comes from John Canada, the taxidermist who first identified the species, NOT from the country of Canada. The only thing nasty about geese is the way people treat them.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

To all those who think that investigating this crime is a waste of resources I will remind you that Mayor Giuliani of New York City, a prominent Republican, developed a strategy for rescuing his town: he had his police department focus on small stuff that over time degrades a community -- broken windows and similar offenses. The result has been a revitalized city. It seems that allowing the small stuff to slide by begins a real rapid decline over time while tending to the small stuff maintains pride in the community. This particular crime is, in the grand scheme of things, small stuff, but when we let these things slide by we as a group develop a weakening nature and we let more and more things slide by. If you don't like Canada geese and think there are too many then work with the DNR to find a solution. Don't become lazy, crude, and immoral, thinking that you are so much more important than other creatures in nature. No honest hunter would have that attitude.

John Cady

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:03 a.m.

Individuals don't attack others unless they feel threatened or strongly agitated. I don't think one can argue that Mr. Stowell is a well-adjusted person who happens to lack regard for animals. From the way he sped up to hit the birds on the grass (rather than on the driveway) to his reactions to the witness and the officer, this was the act of an angry man. I fear we in America are letting anger destroy us.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

I pick off 25-30 of these geese every year out at my lake. Filthy animals, and they should really have a hunting season for them. I invite everyone else to help control the population of these obviously overpopulated animals.

Animal Lover

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

Can anybody say"crazy eyes"? Enough said.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

If they are killed humanely, well done.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:28 a.m.

Well luckily these are Canada Geese that I'm picking off. Filthy nasty animals.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:04 a.m.

Geese are federally protected birds. Good luck killing them without getting arrested.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:20 a.m.

Well over him. Am sure this codger brings far less grace and beauty into the world than did those geese.

Animal Lover

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

All too true.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:20 a.m.

Those things leave a mess everywhere and attack kids. Let's pay some hunters to take them out instead of arresting a few random people for running them over.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 6:57 a.m.

No, that's Dexter Bear. These geese won't attack children unless they're carrying Purina Goose Chow.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

The geese attack your kids? LOL

Dog Guy

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

Every American Legion post has a woman who moved next door in order to dedicate her twilight years to viewing with alarm any scandalous doings in its parking lot. Let us sing these too-often-unsung tireless monitors of our veterans.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:14 a.m.

Well apparently this particular veteran still needs parenting.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

First they came for the swans, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a swan. Then they came for the ducklings, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a duckling. Then they came for the geese, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a goose.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:55 a.m.

The difference between a Chevy Volt and Canada Geese is: 1. One has perfected flight over centuries and has elegance that is unmatched in the world of water fowl. 2. The other is a 'american car' masking around as a Prius with a gas generator.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:13 a.m.

and then you tweeted about bying a chevy volt and they came for you

Stupid Hick

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:05 a.m.

I spoke out and my comments were deleted!


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

I love how can censor their "paper", but when the writer's they employ write stories that shouldn't be written, it's called journalism. The comment I was going to reply to was just deleted (as they thought it would be) because they were discussing the poor writing on this site. I was going to agree and I'm sure my comment will be deleted as well. There are a lot of people who think it's a waste of money to prosecute this guy...but we have a system in place that is supposed to decide those this case viable, is this case worth taking to court, etc. While we may not agree with all of the decisions of the judicial system makes, we should deal with it.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

david st. crystal....thank you SH, I couldn't remember his name, as it was only posted for moments....well said David.

Jim Pryce

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

He should receive the same punishment as the kid that ran over the ducks. I hunt waterfowl, & the difference is I have to pay the DNR $15. for a small game license, $5. for a State Waterfowl stamp( which they no longer give you a stamp) & a $15. Federal Waterfowl stamp. I think with Waterfowl needing a Federal stamp, this should also be a Federal crime if he did indeed do this on purpose


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

Time to put grandpa behind bars for a couple days. And then take the old man's license away.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

what a creep.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

When a squirrel runs across the road, some people hit the brakes, so don't. Are we going to prosecute those who don't? The law in question was written to punish people who were purposely cruel to animals. It does not apply to hunters. It doesn't apply to people who run over squirrels or hit a deer. It does not apply to animals killed for food. He did not say he ran the duck over on purpose, he only said he did not go out of his way to avoid running it over. The vast majority of us would have tried to avoid hitting the goose but I doubt that we have a legal obligation to do so. That makes this into a thought crime. Every time an animal is run over, we now have to try to determine if the person did it on purpose, didn't avoid doing it, felt it was dangerous to brake, or didn't see it. Maybe be can implant a computer chip that will read our minds so that we can prosecute thought crimes.

Stupid Hick

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

I get the impression it wasn't an accident so much as indifference. Didn't he say he might do the same to a cat?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

That's a fine argument when you're driving on a road, but he was in a fricking parking lot! Big difference there and he admitted guilt by saying he didn't want to wait for them to cross. Hardly sounds like they darted in front of his car and he had no time to brake. Plus he flipped the woman off after the accident. He knew exactly what he was doing and just didn't care.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

"The woman told police she yelled at Stowell for apparently running them over and he then "flipped her off" as he walked back into the legion building." Class act right there, 69 years old and flipping people off ? "The responding officer said Stowell described police intervention as "a great way to waste our tax dollars," but was advised the report would go to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office for review. " I hope he gets some jail time and can reflect on how some of his tax dollars support his butt in jail. I feel bad for his relatives, they probably were not suprised by his actions and behaviors when stopped by the police officer.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

It certainly appears this was a senseless act. And I have no problem with him paying in some way. But I am afraid we might be getting to the point that even an accidental killing of any animal will go before the prosecutor. Make him pay for his callous behavior but don't go off the deep end.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:45 a.m.

This wasn't accidental., That makes a HUGE HUGE difference.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

At least he was honest about it. Not like the kid who ran over the ducks.

craig matteson

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

If he really did intentionally run over the goose he deserves to be punished and pay a fine. But this might also be a time to consider any protected status for Canadian Geese that might still be in place. When I was a kid they put protection in place because the birds were dwindling in population. But they are everywhere now. My backyard has a couple HUNDRED of them in the summer. I have to chase them off the grass or it would be buried in goose guano. They are pretty birds. I don't want them treated badly. But maybe it is time to let hunters hunt them again.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:44 a.m.

Why do you jump to hunting them to control overpopulation when non-lethal, humane goose management companies successfully reduce the population and maintain it at a lower number? They do landscape modification to make the area less appealing to geese, oil the eggs and use dogs to chase them and prevent them from settling. Within the first year or so, there is a marked reduction in population and everyone is happy and no goose had to be killed. People created the problem - and then the only solution they ever have is killing, which doesn't work. Maybe we're not as much of a higher form of life as we think we are.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

This man is being released without bond by Magistrate Horne? Is this apropriate for one accused of a violent felony?

mike gatti

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

So he says "I might not kill a dog..." Does that mean he makes his dog killing decisions on a case by case basis or does he decide by breed? Beagles? Yes, schnauzers? No, etc. All I know is that I'm writin' a country western song about this fellow.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Mike, as a former district court magistrate, how do you feel about the release without bond by Ms. Horne?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Don't people go goose hunting in this state? What is the difference between running over a goose and shooting one with a gun? Is it the fact that they were baby geese? If so, then how is this different from when people kill juveniles of any other species of animal while hunting? Why is this headline news? Geese that don't get out of the way of a moving vehicle and simply allow it to roll right on top of them should die, right? Isn't that the process of natural selection at work? Don't we all learn about this in school? I'm sorry if these questions are offensive, but i just like to look at both sides of any argument. What he did was wrong, obviously, but it also isn't so much different from what we deem to be socially permissible either.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:38 a.m.

I don't like hunting, I DO like geese, but either way, no one has the right to take the law into his own hands with a car and just drive over something. Having said that, it is a mixed message that is sent, but again, NORMAL people don't do what this old coot did. However, I take serious issue with your comment of "geese not geting out of the way of a car and allowing it to roll over them should die"....that's pretty harsh, dont you think? Moreover, animals are equipped to deal with the natural world; they do not perceive a car as a predator. You presume that a goose knows what a car is and what it can do to them. That is quite a presumption of logical thinking for a goose - and quite ILLOGICAL thinking for a human! And NO, that is NOT natural selction at work. There is nothing natural about most of our interactions with wildlife today. We run them over with cars, we build parks with lakes and then kill off the waterfowl so they cannot be in what should be their natural is frankly abysmal what we do to wildlife today. And there is certainly nothing natural about it. And no, we don't learn about this in school. Maybe if we did, we would learn how to interact with nature and respect it a lot more,


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:05 a.m.

you need to read the article again, you missed a lot my friend !


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

At first that was my reaction too, but people that shoot geese do so under controlled conditions and seasons and usually use the animal in some way. Running over geese could be characterized as senseless killing. When it's all said and done, yeah it might be a little cruel. But it sounds like this guy was in a war. If that's the case, he has obviously been hardened by life. I personally think all the calls for this guy's head are pretty extreme.

Boo Radley

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

"If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert Heinlein

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Thanks. Marvelous quote.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Judging from some of the comments in the thread, it's no wonder the birds poop on our cars and the geese poop on the sidewalks.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

Why did seven weeks elapse between the event and the arraignment? By the way, it might be a good idea if imposed a weapons ban for its online commenters. Never mind jumping to conclusions; many of the people commenting on this story seem to be using pole vaults. Those can be dangerous.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

Maybe he could sit in the pokey with the kid that killed the ducks.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

It's darn dangerous to be a fowl in this area!

dr holl

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

To this limited fool's reason for running over the birds. their ancestors where here long before we were. They go through paths they have followed for generations and we continue to path over them and in many cases block them. I sincerely hope that they give him a large fine and jail time to think about it. In southfield, at northland ,their is a place where they cross the roads and normal people stop and let them pass.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:16 p.m.

It sounds like he used his vehicle as a weapon against the animals. If guilty, I hope they give him the maximum sentence. It does not matter whether you dislike the geese and their babies. Your vehicle is not a weapon. You are not an executioner. Thanks to the woman who reported it.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

@Lindsay W: Don't forget to add parrots on your list, too. @Thomas Jones: Sully and US Air was an accident. He didn't change the course of the plane to purposely hit the geese - in fact, I'm sure if there had been time, he would've gone out of his way to avoid them, not go out of his way to hit them like Norman did. And Sully saved 150 lives by his actions. Norman even admitted he would hit a cat if it got in his way and wouldn't move. Maybe Ol' Norman should get in someone's way and let the same thing happen to him. Let's not confuse accidents and intentional harming of another being. And, sorry, being a war hero doesn't earn him slack. That doesn't give him the right to do senseless killings. And if you think war heroes deserve special treatment, then why aren't you upset at how our military heroes are treated when they return from places like Vietnam and Iraq (which hasn't been very well). And to the rest of you who think we're overpopulated by Canadian geese and that they're nasty, fine. Hunt them legally and roast them for dinner. My guess is Norman just left this for road kill and had no intention of eating it.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

Look I agree that this is a bad situation.... but I just dislike the tax payers dollars going toward convicting this crime. When crime is up 30% this year and unemployement is pushing 10%. and they can't get people with BRIDGE CARDS to take drug tests!!!!!! I'm just saying there is another way to correct this action. and it is NOT an investigation, and court case and jail time and probation. Really..... lets make him pick up trash or something..... And for your info I will be bagging my limit every day for a week and feeding my family and friends!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Why within a few weeks of each other were there two incidences involving the in humane killings (via car) of beautiful water fowl ? This should just not be happening. I hope both men/cases get the max of what is allowable by law. And that it sends a very strong message, that these animals are living creatures too and it will not be tolerated here in A2 or any place else on earth. I agree with another writer, they both should pay a hefty fee to a humane society or other wildlife sanctuary, or community service hours could be worked in...and maybe that would enlighten them both to see that we are not the only ones with whom we share this planet.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

"Living in the Milan area .. there are a lot of Canadian Geese." "The Canadian goose is mean; they crap everywhere and are over populated!" "Why don't you liberals try eating a wild Canadian goose for a change..." They're "Canada" geese. They don't actually have citizenship.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Was this guy involved in a mentoring/ Big Brother program for a certain young man of similar tendencies??? Seems like it.

Elaine F. Owsley

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

He drove off the road surface, onto the grass ......this was no "accident", he was aiming for them.

mike gatti

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:35 p.m.

He is a sportsman

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

It was a "grassy lot" for parking


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

If Stowell doesn't want tax dollars "wasted" prosecuting crimes, isn't the best solution to not commit the crime in the first place? If he's so concerned with the waste of tax dollars spent prosecuting him, I suggest that he offer to pay the entire bill himself, out of his own pocket. That way the tax payers will be spared the expense.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

This type of senseless killing of an animal is inexcusable and unacceptable in a civilized society. I might also add this certainly is an indication of the person's lack of good sense and respect for animals as well as other people. In my opinion this is tax money well spent. Maybe 30 days in the county jail would give a person like this a different outlook on life.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

We have such a shortage of Geese around here. I say increase the bag limit during hunting season and there won't be as many to run over and cause possible collisions when people slam on the brakes when the clueless animals walk out into the road.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

Agree!!!!! UP THE LIMIT and FEED the WORLD!!!!!!!!

DaLast word

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

A squirrel ran out in front of my car yesterday. I applied my brakes, but alas I still hit it. I can't help but feel like I could have done more to avoid it, even if it meant running into the cyclist on the side of the road. I think maybe I will turn myself in to the authorities so I can recieve my just pentence. I live on a lake and think all geese should be harvested and fed to the homeless.


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

When you choose to live "on" a lake, you sign up to share it with the other creatures who live on/in the lake. That's your choice.

mike gatti

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

Harvesting and feeding people sounds cool but this guy just swung around at high speed and left it lying there to rot. Ain't no call for that.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.



Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

I'd also like to commend and thank the unnamed lady who called the police and identified "Norman" and Mr. Covel as well. Nicely Done!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

Well this looks like a slam dunk for the prosecutors office. Easy Money. While "Norman" remains accused, his admissions and confessions won't serve him well in the end. Pretty sad behavior for a person of his age and a real lousy example of the behavior of a veteran. I also hope "Norman" can maintain his privacy. Having your name posted on the front page of the newspaper when accused...of something like this can cause some sleepless nights.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

Will one REPUBLICAN please stand up????? If this was from Oct. 9th to Nov. 14 one could kill 4 goose a day and 10 a day from Jan. 1 to Jan 30. Come on! Look accidents happen! And I sure don't want my tax dollar being spent to convict this guy! The Canadian goose is mean; they crap everywhere and are over populated! These birds are great to look at and TASTE great too! Why don't you liberals try eating a wild Canadian goose for a change and lay off the FARM RAISED TURKEY OR PIG! I know many people that have hit and killed many many different animals like Captain Sully!! And he was a HERO!!! This guy is 69 years old and he was at the American Legion and probably a war HERO, give him a break!!!!


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 1:40 a.m.

Okay, subtract one vote, because I hit the darned thing while trying to click on reply. Second, what the heck does being liberal or conservative have to do with intentionally running over a wild animal with your car??? That is called reckless driving in my book, as that is not what motor vehicles are for. And IF he ever was a war hero, he obviously no longer is in possession of his faculties. I'm thinking "lunatic".

Mylene J.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

If he is a war hero, shame on him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thomas Jones

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Let us ALL remember what it means to be AMERICAN PLEASE!!!!! We are all innocent until PROVEN GUILTY!!!! That my friends is bi-partisan!!!!!!

Steve Pepple

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

A comment containing name calling has been removed. Please make your point without calling people names - that includes the suspect in this case.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

Well, if your assertion is correct and he is a war hero, then by all means act like one!!! Running over water fowl is not leading by example!!!

Jake C

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:05 a.m.

Momma G: If you dislike geese, then please follow the many legal methods of keeping them away from your property. And if a goose or duck or deer or rat jumps out in front of your car and you can't safely stop, no one will blame you for running it over. Accidents do happen. But don't use the word "accident" to describe an individual who has given a statement saying he'd happily run over multiple different types of animals just because they're "in his way", and who allegedly ran over juvenile geese that he could have easily avoided or waited a few seconds for, because he was in too much of a hurry. People like this are why I'm anxious every time I take my toddler across a crosswalk, even when there's a stop sign or a red light.

Momma G

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

I agree with Thomas Jones. Quit spending our tax dollars on these "accidents." These geese are over populating, dirtying our lakes, etc. Ever had "swimmer's itch?" Not fun and it is cause by birds like these. I'm sorry I am not going to swerve to avoid hitting an animal or bird and risk injury to myself or damage to my car. Unless the insurance companies will pay for the damage at 100%.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Your comments are irrelevant and clearly designed to be agitating. Nevertheless, I am compelled to correct you on a few mistakes you've made: Firstly, this was clearly not an accident by Mr. Stowell's own admission. Secondly, this did not happen in October, November, or January and is therefore a punishable crime. Third, he's not a war hero. He was in the Navy fifty years ago for a short term, not in combat.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

"but I think that if I hunt this season the whole season I will feed 420 families!!!!!" Are you stoned?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

Yeah we know, we know. You'd rather your tax dollars go to businessmen and corporations....

Thomas Jones

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Thank you all for the votes!!!! I'll have you know that it really means lot. I have heard people giving away turkeys at Chirstmas and Thanksgiving but I think that if I hunt this season the whole season I will feed 420 families!!!!!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

Sooo...This is a partisan issue?! Are you kidding me?!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Absolutely nothing heroic about depraved indifference to the life of a defenseless critter.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

These Birds are like big RATS!!!

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

I'm NOT saying it is ok to kill baby animals! I'm saying it is NOT ok to use my tax dollars to convict this guy! and to lighten up a bit!

Jake C

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Why yes there is a season for hunting geese, but it is not now. Just like there's a season for hunting deer. And we acknowledge that accidents happen, and if you hit an animal on the road because you couldn't avoid it, that's fine. But if you think it's okay to intentionally drive over (or club, or shoot) a baby animal of any kind, at any time, just because you want to -- sorry, but you're not "being a Republican", you're being a horrible human being.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

Accident? Did you read or attempt to read the article? Also, as a hunter, I know they're called Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese.

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Watch the votes start coming in!!!!!!! 4 for now..... :)


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

So, are you saying that the Republican party is the party of people who would run over baby animals? While not a Republican, I do know some fine people who are, and who would take serious issue with your remark.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Be kind to yor web-footed friends and all creatures big and small.

A2 is a Utopia

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Stay classy Milan, a few more heinous acts like this and your city might be considered Ann Arbor south, I am sorry Flint southeast. Milan, You might want to reconsider playing the one up game with Ann Arbor. Mayor Muckler may want to consider an automobile ban within city limits to stay on par.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

And he has no doubt been driving for 50+ years. Frightening! What has happened to the human race?


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

&quot;What has happened to the human race?&quot; See: GENESIS 3 <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &amp; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

I have to agree. This guy is too old and should no better simply based on the 60+ of wisdom?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

Give this guy a medal. Nonmigratory Canada geese are like rats - they're filthy, they're out of control and their numbers need to be sharply curbed. The legislature should impose a temporary bounty on them until their numbers are brought back to a reasonable level.


Sat, Jul 9, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

Yeah, sure, allow idiots to run around suburban neighborhoods shooting at geese or running over them with their cars. Hope your kids don't get in the way of a stray bullet, genius.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

1. The birds were there FIRST. What gives you the right to think they are infringing on your area, when in fact humans took their habitat. 2. The same argument could be made for humans as well. Why not run over a few of the Octomoms kids, since she has spawned 14 of them 3. I guess in your world being a CRIMINAL is ok, as long as it justifies YOUR goals? 4. They are NOT overpopulated, since they survive and flourish. If a population of any animal is too large, they will die off until they hot a correct balance. They are just an inconvenience for you because god forbid you have some poop on the lawn, or have to wait a minute for them to cross the road.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 4:06 a.m.

Canada geese are NOT from Canada. They get their name from John Canada, the taxidermist who first identified the species. They are native to all of North America. If there are too many of the resident versions of them, thank your government hack agencies who restocked flocks after hunters decimated them and then never bothered to check the population. However, that is not the birds' fault. They are not filthy at all - all birds have amazing preening and grooming habits and are probably cleaner than you are. They are cetainly NICER. populations can be intelligently and non-lethally lowered and maintained by goose management companies. Since when is it civilized behavior to simply and deliberately run over whatever inconveniences you? Shame on you. You should be thrown into a jail cel with that old reprobate and the key should be lost.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

Actually, I agree that the goose population may be a problem, but the right way to deal with that is to have the legislature or the DNR (and the Interior Department) change the laws to make it easier to hunt them. The *wrong* way to do it is run them over with your car. Your car is for transportation, not hunting.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

I feel the same way about people. I mean, really? Do we need that many?

Thomas Jones

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

WELL SAID zeeba!!!! WELL SAID they are big RATS and had he killed a rat no one would have said a peep!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

More senseless car violence. When will it end?

Animal Lover

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

Also, more senseless man violence. And I use the word &quot;man&quot; loosely in this case.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

When the new mass transit master plan is implemented and when those who would do the sort of thing alleged here no longer are allowed to hold licenses to drive.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

This taxpayer assumes she will be getting that money back in your court fees, sir.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:54 p.m.

Living in the Milan area .. there are a lot of Canadian Geese.. I have been stopped plenty of times on Wabash to let the ducks pass.. Really Mr. Stolwell.. you could not have waited a few minutes? It is a real shame that we try so hard to set the example for our youth and .. then you have this.. .. WOW! is the only thing I can say!

Mumbambu, Esq.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

Nephilim - I love correcting people about Canada geese. :)


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

Grlhunter, did you check their passports to find out they were Canadian? They are Canada geese. They are also geese, not ducks. Just saying since we are trying to set examples for our youth. Might as well try to supply the correct info to them.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

It wouldn't have taken more than a few seconds. They get out of the way pretty quickly when anything person-sized or up heads toward them.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:54 p.m.

Personally I don't mind my tax dollars going toward prosecution of senseless violence against a living creature. If found guilty, I hope Mr. Stowell receives the maximum sentence allowable. A substantial donation to the National Wildlife Federation or the Humane Society, plus court fees would be acceptable.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

Comments were removed because they were off-topic. Please direct your comments to this story, and not to other incidents that are not related to this.

Animal Lover

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Mr. Dearing. Have a talk with your &quot;reporter&quot; Juliana Keeping. Her story about dogs was filled with incidents that she &quot;heard&quot; about, but wrote about as the truth. Yet, your &quot;editor&quot; approved it. If you're going to remove comments that you deem off topic, then you should have removed Ms Keeping's whole story, then had a serious talk with Gardner and Keeping.


Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

Tony, maybe if this story, about geese and goslings, didn't have a tag of &quot;duckling deaths&quot;, it wouldn't list a previous story as &quot;related content&quot;? Ruralmom's right about that; if says it's related, it's a little unfair to claim the stories aren't related.


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

Oh also all the way to the right under &quot;Related Content&quot;, its suggest the Dillion Pearce stories. So if you don't want people to comment on a story that is of the same subject and are going to boot peoples comments for it, maybe you shouldn't SUGGEST that its related content. Just sayin!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

Off topic? Umm I think we've a rash of incidents of killing geese, very much the same topic! Did you graduate from Michigan State or something?


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

He's definitely too old, to be acting like that. I hate those defecating chickens too, but come on.

lindsay erin

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

What do people have against birds these days? (Ducks, geese, etc.)

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

Maybe it's all Aflac ads


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Have you seen what they do to our parks. Not saying I'd run them over but if they did that to my yard somebody would have to go!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:37 p.m.

"I might not run over a dog, but I would definitely run over a cat," Thanks Heidi, best quote of the month. I can just see some crotchety old coot saying this, thinking that he is helping his cause some. Too funny!


Thu, Jul 7, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

It takes a pretty depraved individual to intentionally do this to another living creature.