April 25, 2005

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Seagull shooter and his dog try trooper's patience

By Alaska State Trooper Pat Nelson, Re-printed with permission of the DPS Quarterly

I got a call about a seagull being shot in front of the Denali Princess Lodge (a very populated and busy area). On the way I'm thinking, "Okay, some idiot shot a seagull with a pellet rifle. I can write the summons and be back at the house in time for 'Jeopardy.' " I got there and pulled up into the parking lot and there were frantic people milling around this obliterated seagull lying on the sidewalk in front of the Lodge and pizzeria. I'm thinking to myself, "Okay, this was not just a pellet rifle." I do the trooper thing, interviews, photos, diagrams, and collect the seagull as evidence and contact the seagull butcher who is a guest at the Lodge.

Upon contact, he's off course, around a .300 BAC. It turned out, he pulled into the parking lot, hopped out of his truck and quickly retrieved a lever action 30/30 from behind the seat and smoked this seagull right off the sidewalk in front of the lodge and pizza joint as pedestrians were walking by and enjoying the Denali scenery. When asked why he did it, he claimed he was tired of them getting caught in his net! (Seems he's a longliner from Valdez.)

Soooo the story continues ... Bad guy goes to jail for various crimes but he has a 75-pound black lab dog which I can't leave in the guest room because, of course, the bad guy's not coming back anytime soon. I load them both up in the rear of the patrol car and take him to jail with the intention of dropping the dog off at the night drop pound so the guy can pick him up when he gets out.

I was in the jail booking said bad guy and came out only to discover the dog had climbed through my prisoner screen into the front seat and eaten my seagull evidence in the front seat of my car. Needless to say to my dismay, feathers, blood, and guts were all over the inside of my car. Turned out he has eaten my favorite night time pastry as well as spilled my $3 cup of yuppie cafe latte coffee all over my driver's seat. And as if I wasn't angry already, there were no lower dog storage kennels available so I had to lift this 75-pound lab shoulder high into the top kennel. Some days you just have to grin, and remember why we do this job.

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