Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Snaring Pigeons in the Park

January 11, 1947
Santa Monica

The day began with two elderly men and a flock of pigeons, all enjoying the breeze in Ocean Park. It ended with one man in police custody and another dead on the sidewalk, a horrified widow and the pigeons frightened away. Madness, sleepy Santa Monica-style.

Harry Jacoby, 53, of 216 Ashland Ave. vehemently objected to 68-year-old watchman Charles LeRoy Bonner of 2829 1/2 Ocean Front's attempts to snare pigeons in the park. After it was all over, Bonner told police that the younger man had twice tried to start a fight over the snaring, knocking Bonner down and then smashing his glasses.

Finally, Bonner fought back, and the two men grappled across the sidewalk. They fell together, but only Bonner got up. Harry Jacoby was dead on the ground, and Charles Bonner taken into custody on suspicion of murder. Mrs. Jacoby became hysterical at the scene and had to be restrained. And above them all, the pigeons wheeled, now careless and oblivious to the tiny men below.

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