Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19463
Classification: Beating
Animal: bird (wildlife)
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Friday, Mar 16, 2012

County: Boulder

Disposition: Alleged

» Matt Nabhan
» David Hankin

Two University of Colorado students were cited for animal cruelty Friday after witnesses told police the men beat a pigeon to death.

Witnesses called police a little after 7 p.m. to say that they had seen two men beating pigeons with a broomstick on the balcony of an apartment in the north tower of Spanish Towers, 805 29th St. According to a police report, the witnesses described the men as "joyful" and "excited."

"They described the scene as if they were watching an MMA (mixed martial arts) fight on TV," the report said.

When Boulder police officers located the apartment in question, the men -- identified by police as Matt Nabhan, 21, and David Hankin, 20 -- admitted to killing a pigeon with a broomstick, the report said. The bird already had been disposed of by the time police arrived.

The men said they had a pigeon infestation, and the apartment manager had not dealt with it, the report said. They said they did not see it as any different than killing a rat.

According to the report, the men were apologetic when the officer explained "the other options they had available to them other than beating a pigeon to death in the full view of the public."

Nabhan and Hankin both were issued tickets for animal cruelty.

Neither could immediately be reached for comment today.

According to Boulder Municipal Code, the city is a bird sanctuary. The injury, or even capture, of any wild bird, even pigeons, is prohibited unless the person has a permit to deal with a verified health or safety hazard. Putting out poison for wild birds also is prohibited.

Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel said pigeons can be deterred by shiny objects such as pinwheels or old compact discs strung up outside. Homeowners also can deter pigeons and other wild animals by not leaving pet food outside.


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