Man protecting son from angry goose gets ticket

Posted at 2:52 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 14:52:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- An Indiana dad is crying "fowl" after he says he got a ticket for protecting his son from an aggressive goose but county law enforcement says he went too far.

James McDaniel says he did what any parent would do if an aggressive animal was attacking their child. He admits to hitting a Canada goose with a plastic Wiffle ball bat after he says the bird started chasing his 4-year-old son, Ethan.

“A goose actually came from the other side of the field… and proceeded to go full wing span and chase after my son,” said McDaniel.

He says he grabbed the only thing around: his son’s plastic bat.

“So I swing one time, he [the goose] kind of topples over, I grab my son… and I ran across the street,” said McDaniel.

And that swing, it seems, got feathers flying after a witness called the police.

“It was clearly attacking my son,” said McDaniel, “if anyone else had seen the whole incident, they would have known I was trying to protect my son.”

Marion County Animal Services showed up and issued McDaniel a ticket for animal cruelty. The agency was unable to comment on the case because of pending litigation, but according to the incident report, witnesses say they saw McDaniel hit the bird three times.  The report also states the officer did take the goose to a local veterinarian. McDaniel maintains that he was only protecting his child.

“FOX59 has shown before that these birds are becoming more and more aggressive,” said McDaniel, citing a report regarding aggressive geese and the Department of Natural Resources response to them.

“This is very frustrating because why should I not be allowed to protect my child against wildlife anywhere?”

DNR officials said a person is allowed to protect themselves or others from wildlife, but can only use a reasonable amount of force based on the amount of harm a particular animal could inflict. McDaniel will go before a judge on Monday.