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Assault citation issued in bird feeder brawl

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- People can fight over some silly things; Oklahoma City police said they responded to a fight about over-feeding birds.

Bird watching is supposed to be a peaceful activity.

However, tempers came to blow over feeding the feathered fowl.

OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said, “The officers got there and they spoke with the apartment manager who, in this case, happened to be the victim.”

Officials said the whole thing started when Jim Harris was on his balcony, tossing bread crumbs to the birds.

When he was told that was not allowed, police said Harris confronted the man.

Wardlow said, “He said at first it appeared to be non-confrontational; he thought he was simply coming to talk to him but it was at this point that Mr. Harris took a swing at the victim. Fortunately, he was able to dodge the first swing.”

He was not as lucky with the second punch.

She said, “Our officers at the scene say that they did see several minor cuts and scratches that were on the victim’s face from the scuffle with the suspect.”

EMSA said scenes like that are not uncommon when extreme heat causes some people’s blood to boil.

EMSA Maj. Colin Roy said, “Perhaps the rise in temperature is also rising people’s internal temperatures as far as aggression goes and we’re seeing a lot more assaults this summer.”

Paramedics said when they respond to these types of calls, it’s double duty because in some cases those involved may have a heat-related illness on top of some sort of trauma.

Roy said, “Obviously, we’re not going to scientifically say it’s the cause but it could very well be the heat. You know, people get agitated when they’re hot and uncomfortable and that could certainly be a cause for it.”

He said the weapons have been just as strange as the trauma.

“People will pick up and use just about anything; frying pan or an ash tray, a beer bottle or even a car.” He said, “We’ve seen people try to run people over, the whole gamete, it’s an open season type of thing.”

Harris was issued a citation for assault.

EMSA paramedics want to remind people to pre-hydrate, which can cut down on some the agitation caused by the heat.