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Police arrest Japan taxi driver after running over pigeon

TOKYO (AFP) – A Tokyo taxi driver was arrested for deliberately driving into a flock of pigeons and killing one, police said yesterday, reportedly because he was angry that the birds were on the road.

Atsushi Ozawa, 50, “used his car to kill a common pigeon, which is not a game animal”, in the Japanese capital last month, and was arrested on Sunday for violating wildlife protection laws, a Tokyo police spokesman told AFP.

Ozawa sped off from a traffic light when it turned green, ploughing his taxi into the bevy of birds at a speed of 60 kilometres per hour, local media said.

The sound of the engine reportedly prompted a surprised passer-by to report the incident.

Tokyo police had a veterinarian perform a post-mortem on the hapless pigeon and determined its cause of death as traumatic shock, according to local media. “Roads belong to humans, so pigeons should have dodged out of the way,” Ozawa was quoted by local media as telling investigators.

Police called his behaviour “highly malicious” for a professional driver, before deciding to go ahead with the arrest, broadcaster Fuji TV said.

“Wow, can you get arrested for running over a pigeon?”, one user wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“He could’ve just honked his car horn or something. But intentionally killing it? That’s crossing the line,” another posted.