And yes, you can get arrested for that.

On Tuesday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police confirmed that they have arrested 50-year-old Atsushi Ozawa, a resident of the city’s Nakano Ward who works as a taxi driver. His arrest stems from an incident that occurred on November 13, wherein Ozawa drove through a crowded intersection, resulting in one death when his car struck the victim.

No humans were injured in the collision, though, as Ozawa was unharmed and had no passengers in his cab at the time. The pigeon he hit and ran over though, was killed.

On the day of the incident, Ozawa was driving his cab in the Icchome section of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward and was stopped at a red light at an intersection that a large number of pigeons were gathered in. When the light turned green, he accelerated rapidly into the avian cluster, whereupon he hit one of the animals.

A woman who witnessed the events called 110, Japan’s emergency police response number, to report what she had seen. After determining that Ozawa was behind the wheel, he was placed under arrest on suspicion of violation of Japan’s Wildlife Protection Act. Given the extent to which pigeons have adapted to life in urban environments and the speed with which they can dart out of harm’s way, one might question whether Ozawa actually expected or intended to cause harm to the creatures, but he certainly didn’t help his case when, after admitting that the witness’ report was accurate, he added:

“The streets belong to the humans, so the pigeons are the ones who are supposed to get out of the way.”

▼ We have been unable to yet confirm whether Ozawa, should his case go to trial, plans to call George Costanza as a character witness.

Regardless of where one stands on the debate of who had the right of way, though, it’s still surprising that Ozawa would choose to accelerate into a flock of pigeons. Even if he had no respect for the pigeons’ lives, running over an animal is going to make an awful mess on your car’s bodywork, wheels, and undercarriage, and in a city with as many taxis as Tokyo, you have to assume that most potential fares who saw Ozawa’s cab would have instead waited for one to come by that didn’t have bird guts splattered on it, thus severely limiting his earning potential.

In closing, we here at SoraNews24 would like to reaffirm our mutual support of both cab drivers and pigeons. Whether you’re giving us restaurant recommendations or crapping on us to increase our lottery luck, we’re grateful for all you do, and hopefully what happened in Shinjuku will be an isolated incident that doesn’t lead to taxis and birds fighting in the streets and skies.

Source: Kyodo via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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