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Hartselle Enquirer

Fowl deeds in Suffolk, Virginia

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
It was the headline that caught my eye. "Nude man carrying stolen bird arrested." As this is not something you see every day, I had to read the story.
The story – which I will get to in a second – was featured on a front page issue of the Suffolk (Va.) News Herald. The News Herald is owned by Boone Newspapers, the same company that owns this newspaper. I've been to Suffolk a couple of times and it's a lovely city. It's also the birthplace of Mr. Peanut, just in case you wanted to know something else about Suffolk.
On this particular day, it was home to a man named Juan Lopez and an allegedly stolen bird.
According to the story, police were called to a home after they received a report of a naked man attacking a car. He was using, in the words of the reporter, "either a chicken or a pigeon." I bet the car's owner is glad he didn't have access to a 12 pound turkey.
Police said as the victim pulled into their driveway the naked man approached their car and began pelting it with poultry. They left and called police. Police responded and ended up chasing the suspect into the woods.
Officers reported a struggle occurred during the arrest. No mention is made if any more birds were involved in that, though Lopez was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Given that he was nude at the time of his alleged escapade, I don't want to speculate too much on that.
An investigation of the scene revealed damages to the home, including the destruction of two bird cages and the release of 15 chickens and four pigeons. No motive was given for the fowl deeds.
I don't know how circulation was for the Suffolk News-Herald on the day it printed the naked man/bird pelter story, but I bet it was pretty good. I don't know many people who could walk by a news rack with that headline and not want to read the newspaper.
And that brings up a good point: Newspapers are often accused of sensationalizing stories and only printing the tacky and lurid. We are sometimes guilty of this. But there's also those times when the truth is tacky and lurid. And, it's these types of stories people want to read. I would love to compare the naked chicken man story to one of the other leading stories on the front page, maybe the one about how private industry is teaming with universities to train soldiers or the changes to the school system's special education program.
It would take a great fiction writer to pen the story of the naked man attacking a car with a chicken. Trust me, y'all, we can't make this stuff up.