Phoenix woman is left heartbroken after her escaped pet EMU ‘Richard’ died after cops lassoed him, strung him up by the neck and wrestled with him while trying to get in the back of a squad car
- A woman from Mesa, Arizona is devastated after her pet emu died after police officers tried to restrain it using a rope and force it into their patrol car
- Video sees officers struggling with the unusual pet with a deputy seen having his hands around the bird’s neck at one point trying to drag it into the vehicle
- Moments later the six-and-a-half-year-old pet emu appeared lifeless with severe damage to its neck despite the bird not having displayed any aggression
A mother and son from Phoenix say they are devastated after their escaped pet emu was killed when officers from Mesa Police Department attempted to capture the bird and force it into the back of their patrol car.
The bird, known as ‘Richard’ was known to occasionally break free of its enclosure but would always make it back home alive.
On this occasion, a neighbor called the local police department to help assist but things took a tragic turn.
Officers attempted to lasso the six-and-a-half-year-old emu but in doing so appeared to damage the bird’s long and fragile neck.
Cellphone video shot of the incident shows officers standing around the bird which can be seen lying flat on the ground after apparently choking the bird following the police restraint.
Video sees officers struggling with the unusual pet as they tried to get it into a police car
At one point a deputy can be seen with his hands around the bird’s neck before trying to drag it into the vehicle
Officers were struggling from the start as they tried to force the bird into the vehicle
Footage of the failed ‘arrest’ sees the bird struggling against two officers, wildly flapping its wings as it attempts to break free.
One of officers could be seen with his hands around the birds neck while another shot shows a rope around it.
At one point both rear doors to the patrol car were open and officers appeared to drag it by its neck into the vehicle.
When that approach failed, the bird suddenly appeared lifeless with its long neck hanging upside down.
Police officers could then be seen attempting to revive the bird by giving it some water – but it was no use and the emu remained unresponsive.
Officers tried to use a rope to ‘corral’ the animal into the back of their squad car
Officers then attempted to revive the bird as they placed a bowl of water on the ground
The bird’s lifeless body can be seen lying next to the Sheriff’s car
There was little that officers could do following the tragic incident
‘You can’t put a lasso around their neck, trying to yank on them and get them to do what you want them to do. You’re going to kill them,’ said the bird’s owner Stephanie Moilan to Fox 10. ‘It was so inappropriate. It was completely unnecessary.’
Moilan described the unusual pet as ‘awesome.’
‘You could hand feed her. I’d go out and pet her and cuddle her,’ she added. ‘She was just so much fun,’ Moilan said through tears. ‘I’m really going to miss her.’
Micheal Davis who captured the tragic chain of events on camera says he believes the police were heavy-handed in their response.
‘I don’t think that it needed to happen the way that it did. He was just very calm, just wondering around. Not aggressive at all. Not threatening,’ said Davis.
‘Everyone that was out here witnessing it said “Is it breathing? Are you choking it?” The emu was obviously in distress and kicking and screaming as deputies tried to get her in the car. Then it stopped moving. Unfortunately, nobody knew what to do at that point,’ Davis told 12 News.
‘You can’t put a lasso around their neck, trying to yank on them and get them to do what you want them to do. You’re going to kill them,’ said the bird’s owner Stephanie Moilan
The bird had been seen walking around but was not being aggressive towards anyone
The emu, known as Richard, is seen during better times
Moilan’s child enjoyed playing with the bird and would regularly hose it down
Davis says the officers were ill equipped an untrained to deal with the situation.
Officials with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrived on the scene following a call for the loose emu and ‘during the corralling, The bird collapsed and died.’
Moilan does not agree with the police’s version of events.
‘There was no corralling. I don’t think you need a lasso for that,’ said Moilan. ‘I think that they were thoughtless. My 11-year-old’s first response was, ‘did they call animal control? Did they call wildlife response?’