Renton Cop vs. Angry Crows. Who Ya Got? (Hint: Winner Wielded Shotgun)

photo by Brandi Stafford
Pacific northwest crows have declared all-out war on the police. That is the only possible explanation, as the birds have once again reportedly dive-bombed an officer, this time in Renton. But while Everett's finest ended up with egg on their faces (and poop on their squad cars) last week in a battle that pitted blue uniforms against black feathers, this time around the cop in question prevailed, thanks to a little help from his trusty friend, Mr. 12-Gauge.

The latest crow clash occurred Thursday afternoon on Williams Avenue South in Renton, according to a story in the Renton Reporter. Just as in the case of Everett's "velociraptor" crows, the birds were protecting their young during nesting season by "dive-bombing" unsuspecting passersby. Neighbors reportedly posted a warning sign on a tree in crow territory that read, "Be aware of attack crows in front of the gray house. They will hit you in the head and it does hurt."

But when a ferocious fowl drew blood in one of its airstrikes, the locals had no choice but to call for reinforcements. An animal-control official arrived on the scene, along with Renton police Officer Shawn Tierney, who came packing heavy artillery: a 12-gauge shotgun, normally used for crowd control, that fires "bean bag" shells.

The bean bags are tiny fabric "pillows" stuffed with lead pellets, also known as birdshot. When used against humans, the bean bags are a non-lethal way to wallop misbehaving citizens into submission. Unlike a normal shotgun shell, the bean bag keeps the lead pellets contained in a pouch so they don't spread out and penetrate the target's skin. But they do, apparently, pack enough punch to murder a murder of crows.

After being buzzed by the birds, Tierney grabbed his shotgun and promptly dispatched three crows with three shots. Intelligent bastards that they are, the crows momentarily retreated to a higher perch. Eventually they let their guard down and flew back into range just long enough for Tierney to unleash another bean-bag barrage.

No word whether the baby crows were spared by the shotgun-toting lawman, but let's hope for Tierney's sake he decided to put the chicks out of their misery. Crows are capable of recognizing and remembering human faces, and these babies, having witnessed the massacre of their parents, would no doubt grow up and embark on an Inigo Montoya-style quest to exact revenge.

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