Mere weeks after he gave a fiery city council speech decrying the growing menace of “aggressive squirrels” in the city, a Chicago city alderman has been struck down by the very thing he was warning about. Howard Brookins Jr., the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was attacked by one of the “aggressive squirrels” menacing the city while cycling on the Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the “kamikaze squirrel” jumped into the front wheel of his bike and got tangled in the spokes, sending the alderman flying over the handlebars in what was described as a “freak accident.”
The attack cost the squirrel its life and left Brookins needing surgery and other treatment for a broken nose, a fractured skull and five or six teeth that were knocked out in the accident.
Brookins was in the hospital until Thursday, the 17th, the Washington Post reports.
“I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” the alderman said to the Tribune on Monday. He told the newspaper a full recovery was expected to take months.
Brookins had denounced the eastern gray squirrel just a few weeks before the accident. In mid-October, Brookins complained that “aggressive squirrels” were undermining the effort to overhaul the city’s trash carts, reported the Chicago Sun Times. The squirrels were gnawing through the garbage cart lids at a cost of $300,000 to the city.
“It’s a pet peeve. It does invoke some giggles. But we are spending too much money on replacing garbage carts because the squirrels continue to eat through ’em,” Brookins said at a city council meeting on Oct. 21, according to the Sun Times. The alderman said that residents were repeatedly asking for replacement garbage cans, as the squirrels could chew through the lid within as little as two days.
Brookins, who is said to be “in good spirits,” wrote on Facebook that he will have to undergo several surgeries “to recover from damage to my face and upper body.”
This is not the first time this month a squirrel’s deranged behavior has wreaked havoc and made the news.
On November 3, a lunatic squirrel terrorized a retirement community in Florida, jumping on residents, scratching and biting them. That story, complete with a dramatic 911 call, was covered by PJ Media here.