By: John Lester, NewsOXY Reporter
08/23/2011 10:36 AM ET
Charles Douglas, a 59-year-old businessman in Burbank, California, was arrested for feeding pigeons and now officials are trying to figure out what to do with him.
Douglas violated municipal code on several occasions and has created a major safety hazard for jet airplanes using the nearby Bob Hope Airport as the number of pigeons have grown into the hundreds by feeding them.
On Friday, after two court citations and a bench warrant for feeding the pigeons, Burbank police arrested Douglas at his business on Hollywood Way and Tulare Avenue.
Airport police Cmdr. Allen Schmitt said a plane strikes a bird at the airport once every two months on average. But the rate of strikes has increased recently, with five incidents in July alone, he added.
"Most of those were multiple -- 10 to 20 to 30 birds at once," Schmitt said. "Now it's becoming extraordinarily dangerous."
In July, a Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Ontario after it flew into 20 to 30 pigeons during takeoff, he said.
"A pigeon is not a problem, but a flock -- that's a problem," he said.
Douglas' arrest was the culmination of months of legal wrangling to stop the feeding. In
In December 2010 and again in February, he was found guilty of feeding pigeons so as to create a nuisance, court documents show. On July 31, Douglas was again cited for feeding the birds, Schmitt said. The arrest warrant was issued August 11.