Attorneys are busily defending a California man for feeding pigeons. The problem is that the flock happens to live right at the end of an airport runway.
Charles Douglas has pleaded not guilty to this alleged pigeon feeding. He was under an existing court order to abstain from feeding the birds. Apparently he can’t help himself. Now Mr. Douglas is in hot water.
This threat isn’t just theoretical. A Southwest Airlines flight was diverted because it hit–get this–a flock of pigeons at the airfield.
The amazing thing is that he is only charged with a misdemeanor. If one of those planes went down, imagine the firestorm that would erupt. His attorneyswould have a more difficult case to defend.
As it is, his attorneys are upset about the fact that he is being charged with a misdemeanor. They argue that he should simply fact a civil penalty. Perhaps they should reconsider their strong stance.
People are arrested for DUI every day because of the risk they present to members of the public. Plenty of people go to jail for being slightly impaired by alcohol. Many, many people drive impaired and get home without getting into an accident.
This is a case where a man is creating a hazardous condition at an airport,. He had been previous warned–by a judge–to quit what he was doing. Despite this, he returned to his flock and continued to endanger the public. And he actually created a hazardous condition because a flight had to be diverted. My thinking is that his attorneys need to sit down with him and have a frank discussion.
Sometimes you need to know when to cut your losses. This man has violated court orders, endangered the public, and knowingly refuses to stop. As an attorney, I know the liability that he is creating. I usually take the side of the underdog, but this one is a bridge too far. Oh, and I hate pigeons.
Attorney Nick Alcock is the owner of Alcock & Associates, P.C. a law firm located in Phoenix, Arizona.
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