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Police chief decapitates young boy’s pet chicken and leaves its head on the property

By Mason White 4:47 PM September 3, 2014
Phoenix Turnbull with his chicken 

By: Sanvi Rizvi
A police chief punished a family by decapitating their chicken.

5-year-old Phoenix Turnbull of Atwater, Minnesota, received baby chickens and ducks for his birthday.

He took care of the pets and became very attached to the animals. However, the family did not know that it was against city ordinance to have poultry at home.

Authorities ordered the family to remove the animals from their property, but when they did not comply, the officer decapitated one of the chickens and left its head on the family’s property.

The child’s mother, Ashley Turnbull, filed a formal complaint against the Atwater Police Chief for trespassing on her property, killing her young son’s pet chicken and leaving the decapitated head just feet from the backyard chicken coop.

Ashley Turnbull acknowledges that she was told by police to remove the three chickens and two ducks. However, she said that Police Chief Trevor Berger, went too far when he came onto her property about a week later, when nobody was home and killed the small hen with a shovel.

“The chicken was like a puppy dog to my son. You wouldn’t do that to a puppy,” said Turnbull.

Berger said he was simply enforcing the city ordinance that has been in place since 1960, and he was responding to a “frustrated” neighbor’s repeated complaints about the chickens running loose in the residential neighborhood.

Berger apologized, saying that he was sorry it had to happen that way. He also claimed that he did not intend to leave the severed head at the home.

Berger said he thought the head was still attached to the chicken when he carried the carcass away.