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Jail Time for Feeding Pigeons?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

If one Chicago alderman has his way, a person who feeds the pigeons could possibly face up to six months in jail as punishment for the ‘crime’. Ald. James Cappelman has introduced an ordinance that would significantly increase the penalties for feeding pigeons – making it a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Currently, it is against city code violations to feed the birds and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

According to CBS Chicago, the alderman has told his colleagues that he is “tired of encountering a scene from a Hitchcock movie every time he walks to the Wilson station on the CTA Red Line”, where hundreds of the birds sit and wait to be fed. Studies show that pigeons can harbor over 40 types of parasites and host internally 60 types of infectious diseases that can be spread by the dried bird droppings.

This past spring, Cappelman was assaulted by a woman when he attempted to sweep away breadcrumbs that the woman had just spread out for the birds. The alderman’s argument is that not only do the breadcrumbs attract all the hundreds of pigeons, causing serious problems, but the food also attracts rats to the area. He instructs his staff to clean up the area on a daily basis.

The station interviewed some citizens who found the alderman’s proposal “absurd”. “It’s silly. He should be focusing on other problems,” Oliver Guyton said. “Like the budget and all that type of stuff that aldermen do.” But a few other people interviewed, including Bobby Williams, agreed that the new proposal would be a good idea. “They’re a nuisance. They’re everywhere. You know, you could stand there waiting on the bus and they’re all over your feet,” said Williams.

If you’re arrested and charged with a crime, you need to contact an experienced Chicago attorney. You may be unaware that the crime you are charged with, if it seems minor, could actually end up putting you in jail if you’re convicted.

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