CHICAGO (CBS) — Oscar Russell Jr. says he was behind the wheel of the green Jaguar that plowed into a family of Canada geese Wednesday in the Lathrop housing development in Lincoln Park, killing six of them.
Several people who witnessed the event say it was intentional, but Russell says he was having brake issues.
Neighbors posted outrage on social media, and witnesses picked up major clues.
“We didn’t know who it was, and then we found this part here, which says Jaguar on it,” said witness Al Lopez.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar tracked down the green Jaguar and found it was the front parking light missing, feathers still stuck to the grill and a Bible in the dash.
When asked about witnesses who say Russell hit the geese intentionally, Russell responded, “Listen, for the people who said that, that’s not a true statement.”
“I guess he don’t have a conscience,” said Lopez. “I’m an animal lover.”
“I can’t believe that somebody couldn’t have driven around or avoided those little guys as they were crossing the street,” said Annette Prince, director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors.
Prince said Canadian geese and all migratory birds are federally protected.
“Anyone with malicious intent harms them is committing a federal crime,” she said.
“Yes, I have a lot of remorse,” Russell said. “I’m very sorry that it happened, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.”
Chicago police said they responded, but nobody was in the area, so Animal Care and Control was called to clean up the carnage.
There is a chance U.S. Fish and Wildlife could look into the case further.