Murder most fowl? DuPage man accused of killing neighborhood rooster

  • Giro, a rooster owned by the Cabral family, is pictured here at a birthday party for one of the Cabral children. Authorities say Giro was shot to death in a dispute over wandering chickens, in an unincorporated neighborhood in the West Chicago area.

    Giro, a rooster owned by the Cabral family, is pictured here at a birthday party for one of the Cabral children. Authorities say Giro was shot to death in a dispute over wandering chickens, in an unincorporated neighborhood in the West Chicago area. Courtesy of Natalie Cabral

 
Posted7/30/2021 5:30 AM

A chicken fight has led to a dead rooster in DuPage County and criminal charges for the man accused of killing it.

Richard Meyers, 68, of the 1N0-99 block of Prince Crossing Road near West Chicago, faces a felony criminal damage to property -- domestic animal charge and a misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal stemming from the fowl slaying earlier this week.

 

Meyers is accused of shooting a rooster with a .22-caliber rifle at 5:35 p.m. Monday in his yard.

According to a DuPage County sheriff's report, he told a deputy that chickens regularly escape a neighbor's yard through a 6-inch gap on the bottom of a shared fence. The situation came to a head Monday when the neighbor discovered the dying rooster -- named Giro -- shot through the belly. He notified Giro's owners, another neighboring family, who lend Giro out for, uh, stud service.

"This (Giro) is my kids' family pet," owner Natalie Cabral told Susan on Wednesday. The family, including her four boys, keeps about 15 chickens, she said. They bought Giro last year.

Cabral said when she and her husband asked Meyers about the shooting, he told them the straying chickens had messed up his landscaping. She said she does not understand why Meyers didn't talk to them first about Giro being in his yard. Other people in the rural neighborhood keep chickens, and when they get loose, the neighbors alert each other: "Hey, your girls are over here," Cabral said.

"It's sad. It still makes us sad," Cabral said.

Meyers' side

Meyers, in a Wednesday interview, said that if he had known Giro belonged to the Cabrals, he would have spoken to them. He assumed Giro was part of a neighboring flock that has been getting into his yard the last month.

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And he has no problem with people keeping chickens in the neighborhood, which features large lots, some more than an acre. "They're fun to watch, they really are," Meyers said. As a former dog owner he understands animals get loose, having helped corral neighbors' escaped dogs and horses in his yard.

But the trespassing chickens have pooped throughout his yard and on his deck, scattered his mulch ("like they're digging to China") and destroyed his hosta plants, he said.

"It wasn't just one chicken," he added, saying he has seen at least eight at a time. He tried talking to the neighbor ("It's like talking to a rock") and admits to previously using a BB gun to try to scare the chickens back home.

"I'm kind of beside myself right now," Meyers said. "I'm very sorry it happened the way it happened. I do not blame them (the Cabrals) one bit for being upset."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Erin Eaton recently was named Dispatcher of the Year by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. She works at the Arlington Heights-based Northwest Central Dispatch System.
Erin Eaton recently was named Dispatcher of the Year by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. She works at the Arlington Heights-based Northwest Central Dispatch System. - Courtesy of Northwest Central Dispatch System
At the top

When it comes to the high-stress job of answering 911 calls and getting first responders where they need to be as soon as possible, one of the world's best works here in the suburbs.

Erin Eaton of Arlington Heights-based Northwest Central Dispatch System recently was honored as Dispatcher of the Year by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

She was selected from a group of 35 nominees for her commitment to her work, tireless efforts to assure quality and her "off the charts" competence when it comes to helping people, according to the NWCDS.

The 911 center serves about 500,000 residents in 11 Northwest suburban communities.

Conviction overturned

A Northbrook man found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2019 on allegations he sexually assaulted his date in Buffalo Grove could soon go free, after a state appeals court reversed his conviction.

In a unanimous decision handed down Monday, appellate justices ruled that Lake County prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony Lamonica forced his accuser to have sex with him when they returned to her home after a date in April 2018.

The court also criticized the judge who presided over Lamonica's trial for allowing a second woman to testify that he had raped her after a date in Arlington Heights, along with two additional witnesses to corroborate her story. Justices ruled that testimony was unfairly prejudicial to Lamonica while offering little evidence to support the first accusation.

Despite the reversal, Lamonica's legal problems are not behind him. He's still awaiting trial on a criminal sexual assault charge stemming from the Arlington Heights case.

Expungement aid

The DuPage County circuit court clerk's office is having a criminal-record expungement clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 2, in cooperation with Prairie State Legal Services, the Public Interest Law Initiative's 18th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, DuPage Legal Aid, DuPage County Bar Association and other agencies.

People who want help have to register by Aug. 13. Visit 18thjudicial.org or call (800) 690-2130.

Volunteers can also register there, or email volunteer@pili.org. Continuing legal education credits are available for licensed attorneys.

• Have a question, tip or comment? Email us at copsandcrime@dailyherald.com.

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