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Eastside woman harassed by angry rooster
By Katie Regan
Jessica Ramquist has made an enemy.
She moved to Issaquah just over a month ago and lives in “the perfect home” on Northeast Crescent Drive. She loves the charm and atmosphere of the community and is thrilled about the bus stop located right outside of her home. Because she uses a wheelchair, Ramquist said the proximity is extremely helpful.
But every morning when she leaves her house and makes her way to the bus stop, what appears to be an angry black rooster that lives in a tree in the Staples store parking lot flies down from its roost and attacks her.
“He’s obsessed with me,” she said. “I thought at first maybe he loved me and wanted a girlfriend, but now I know he’s trying to kill me. He wants my blood.”
It flaps its wings, screeches and pecks and claws at her legs, she said. It has been so bad in some situations that she has been momentarily trapped between the attacking fowl and the curb, and cannot get away.
She said this cornered, screaming state is how a full bus of giggling riders recently found her.
“It’s embarrassing,” she said. “Now these people think I’m some sort of crazy rooster lady.”
Ramquist said the rooster is all black and smaller than a cat. He only attacks in the morning, and — according to a Darigold employee who works across the street from its tree — only attacks people in wheelchairs.
Ramquist said that the employee approached her once with this fact, and warned her to look out for the bird. He told her people in wheelchairs who have been attacked before just tend to avoid Front Street.
Indeed, when she has been out with friends who are not in wheelchairs, the bird has not approached her.
Tom Brown, acting assistant manager for King County Animal Care and Control, said “attack roosters” are not common, though it is not uncommon for wild animals to develop an attitude.
“If it felt threatened, a semi-domesticated fowl could turn into something that isn’t too nice,” he said. “But we wouldn’t know until we went out and looked at it.”
He also suggested that if the bird is indeed a rooster, it could be a former fighting rooster.
While Animal Control has not yet received any complaints about the fowl, if they did they would wrangle it from its roost and take it to a shelter, where it would hopefully be adopted. Brown said it is not uncommon to have “barnyard animals” in the shelter, and they have turkeys, peacocks, goats and llamas, among others.
Brown also encouraged anyone who has had an encounter with it — or been attacked by it — to call animal control.
Ramquist said she had been planning to call animal control, but, after talking to her neighbors, discovered the bird has been a resident for about four years.
“I don’t want to be the one to get rid of the beloved neighborhood rooster,” she said. “I’ve only lived here a month, I feel like I don’t have as much ranking as the rooster.”
In the meantime, she has been using a different bus stop to get to work. It is further away from her home, but she said the rooster has become too aggressive and she feels like she has no choice.
Ramquist’s bus driver brought her chicken feed one morning to ward off the bird, but it was not interested — she said he attacks her in a “blind rage.”
“We are not friends at all.”