Animal cruelty charge against CU Boulder students for beating a pigeon

Pigeons are frequently referred to as rats with wings. But that doesn't mean they can be publicly beaten to death -- especially in Boulder.

Which explains the charges against two CU Boulder students accused of doing just that.

The story comes to us from the Boulder Daily Camera. Shortly after 7 p.m. on March 16, the paper reports, Boulder Police officers responded to the Spanish Towers apartment complex on 29th Street, where they heard witnesses recount the pigeon mashing, and claimed the two men who'd done the pounding -- ID'd as David Hankin, twenty, and Matt Nabhan, 21 -- had been joyful and excited while doing the deed, as if they'd been reenacting a mixed martial arts fight.

Except with an opponent who couldn't put up much of a fight.

Hankin and Nabhan are said to have admitted to clobbering the pigeon with a broomstick and then disposing of its body. But while they expressed regret for their actions, they also insisted that they'd been infested by the vermin and the building staff wasn't doing anything about it.

This incident recalls another recent one from November. That's when Nichols Foti and August Noble, both CU Boulder students, and Front Range Community College attendee Lucas Holton were accused of going postal on a raccoon that had been digging through their trash. Their alleged weapons of choice: a baseball bat and a machete.

Pigeons have a decidedly less cuddly rep than do raccoon, but that doesn't matter in Boulder, since the entire city is designated as a bird sanctuary. Hence the animal cruelty citations against Hankin and Nabhan.

As for how to get rid of pigeons without deploying a broomstick, here are some nonviolent ideas from YouTube.

Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Debe Bell found guilty of 35 counts of animal abuse targeting rabbits."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

Latest Stories