Aurora's Long Nightmare is Finally Over. Fred the Fugitive Pig Has Been Captured.
An arrest in Aurora, Colorado, occurred during the early hours of September 27, 2023. It took the concerted efforts of no less than eight civil servants to bring the perpetrator to justice, and evidence suggests at least one well-meaning vigilante attempted to catch him during his spree. Though the saga is now over, the city of Aurora is still reeling from the damage and disbelief caused by the elusive ne'er-do-well. Now that the nightmare is over, all they can do is heal, rebuild, and hope that nothing like this ever happens again.
The chase was long and arduous. An Aurora city official named Allen Augusta said the Aurora Police Department and other agencies received numerous calls over a two-week period that strongly suggested a single offender. "We responded out a few times," Allen said. "The first couple of times, we were unable to find what was causing the problem."
Available information tells multiple stories with conflicting time frames, but they generally agree that the beginning of the end started on September 24 when a concerned citizen called the authorities. A spokesperson for the city referred to the initial contact as its "first call about a pig in traffic."
There was some confusion at first – maybe the concerned citizen had seen a police car and wasn't particularly polite. As the calls kept coming, however, a realization slowly dawned on them: the concerned citizens were speaking literally.
A pig was terrorizing their community.
The pig began its spree by interfering with and blocking traffic, which may be considered a traffic crime, disorderly conduct, or even obstruction of justice or obstructing a peace officer if he physically prevented law enforcement agents from conducting their business. He followed these alleged crimes by refusing to identify himself to law enforcement (he refuses to provide valid government identification or even his real name to this day) and, worse, by resisting arrest and fleeing the scene of the crime.
Calls and reports came in speaking of a large pig (now known to be at least 400 pounds) continuing to disrupt traffic, as well as an escalation: the pig had begun to destroy people's property. Grass, landscaping, bushes – none were safe from the pig's rampage.
"He would probably be a pretty horrible alarm clock to wake up to and look out your window and there's this giant pig eating your lawn," Allen said. When asked about the charges that he thought should be brought against the pig – now known by his alias "Fred" – Allen was entirely too charitable. "Property damage, being too cute, maybe waking people up."
Thankfully Allen is not a member of law enforcement. If he were, such egregious acts might go completely unpunished. "He's been very very friendly," Allen told CBS News Colorado. "He's such a sweet guy. If he were a dog, I would take him home."
Capturing the Criminal
The first attempt to arrest Fred the crime pig was unsuccessful and unseen by the greater public. Animal control spotted Fred with a rope lasso trailing from his neck, the would-be cowboy nowhere in sight. It is still unknown who the justice-minded or possibly just hungry lasso-wielding citizen was, though officials theorize he or she is staying anonymous because of their embarrassing failure to apprehend the massive pig.
Fred was finally brought to justice by a team of five animal services employees and three park employees. The exact method has been withheld from the public to maintain its viability as a solution to future pig arrests, but we do know that it involved a series of wooden panels set up to corral Fred and guide him into a trailer. He was described as being loud and dramatic during his arrest – adding yet another charge to his docket.
The well-snouted criminal was then taken to the county animal jail, also known as the Aurora Animal Shelter, where sources say he has been treated with care and kindness. It is unclear when he will stand trial for his misdeeds, though he will have plenty of time to wallow in his shame in the child's swimming pool the shelter employees set up for him. So far no one has come forward to claim him, which may suggest that his behavior was caused in part by abandonment-related trauma.
The True Cost of Crime
Fred may not have harmed any people or pets during his rampage, but he certainly caused damage to lawns and landscaping features as he roved through the community of Aurora. Landscaping isn't free, and pigs aren't known for their financial acuity, so Fred's victims are left with a question: Who will pay for all this?
If Fred's owner were to show up and claim him, he or she would almost certainly be liable for the damages. Fred is a pig. Pigs are considered livestock by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and prohibited by the city of Aurora unless allowed by specific zoning provisions of the City Code. So Fred's owners would most likely be in trouble the moment they showed up to claim him. And unless they had the appropriate livestock liability insurance coverage, they would be on the hook for any damages Fred did to people or property.
Since Fred's owners haven't shown up, there's a good chance that the people whose lawns he brutalized will have to call their own insurance companies. Many or most homeowner's insurance policies don't cover property damage by pets or livestock. Still, it's hard to say whether that would extend to damage caused by other people's pets or livestock. Regardless, Fred's little escapade will almost certainly cause a cluster of headaches around the Aurora area that may take some time to resolve.
- Disorderly Conduct (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Disturbing the Peace (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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