Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Boston Gull Bashing

I have been in Boston for a few days, and here is one of the top local stories:

Office had bird’s-eye view to kill: Workers say window washer slayed gull with vengeance
By Jessica Heslam and O’Ryan Johnson
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - Updated: 10:14 AM EST
Bird-bashing window washer Christopher Guay - arrested after killing a sea gull - had his goose cooked by his boss yesterday as eagle-eyed witnesses from a nearby office building pecked away at his self-defense claim.

MSPCA ruffles his feathers: Animal lover says treatment is for the birds
Guay, 40, was canned by his employer after news of his battle with the bird took flight. “They said there was too much bad publicity,” he said. “I’m out looking for another job right now.”
Guay was arrested by an MSPCA officer and has been charged with animal cruelty, a felony. The owner of Cliffhangers Inc., Guay’s employer, could not be reached for comment.

The window washer says he has numerous pet birds and loves them. But some Hub office workers say they watched in horror as he cold-heartedly delivered a fatal blow to the gull - then saw them watching and promptly flipped them the bird.

Sarah, a witness who spoke on condition that her last name not be used, works in a cubicle overlooking the Devonshire Street rooftop where the sea gulls built their nest as she and her co-workers kept a daily vigil at the window.

She called Guay’s self-defense claim “absolute crap.”

“He deliberately walked over to the nest and began to beat them,” said Sarah. “He was batting at them, swinging and missing quite a bit. When he swung, he completely hit her and she flew. It was not a nice, gentle, get-out-of-the-way swing.”

For six weeks, she said, she and other employees watched as the pair of sea gulls built a nest for their family. Two of their eggs hatched Thursday, and the workers hung out a congratulations” sign and another urging window washers to be careful of the gull babies.

Guay told the Herald he fended off three birds all day Friday while washing windows. He said he didn’t mean to kill the bird and said he used a broom stick. Sarah said the gulls had swooped down toward the window washers Friday only when they came near their nest. Guay went after them with a three-foot-long pipe, she said.

“My whole floor, as every other floor from my company, was banging on the glass and screaming,” Sarah said. “He started batting at them up in the sky intentionally and then beat the mother bird down totally dead to the ground.”

“It was horrifying,” she said. “We were screaming, crying and banging on the window.” She said Guay dropped the pipe, noticed the pleading employees and then “flipped us off, grabbed his crotch at us and started shaking himself and flipping us off.”

Meanwhile, the MSPCA - which has refused comment on the story from the outset - reported yesterday it has been flooded with angry calls it blamed on “unbalanced media reports.” The animal welfare agency declined to elaborate due to pending legal proceedings, but said, “suffice to say that if the MSPCA had found the defendant’s self-defense story credible, it would have chosen a different course of action.”
Maybe the window washer should have borrowed a few of Mayor Daley's collies to chase the gulls away.

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