Chapman University Students Jailed for Theft of Tim the Turkey

Tim the Turkey back home ... safe and sound ... until Chapman finals are over.
Tim the Turkey back home ... safe and sound ... until Chapman finals are over.
Facebook/Orange High School

What in the Doti Hall is going on at that bastion of integrity and higher learning, Chapman University?

First it was a student leader quitting after allegedly admitting to stealing funds from a frat.

Now it's two Chapman students jailed for allegedly turkey-napping Tim the Turkey.

When Timmy went missing over the weekend from Orange High School, agriculture teacher Patti Williams posted a bulletin on Facebook that included a photo of the 5-pound turkey (who needs to do some plumping up by this coming November; just sayin').

But a fowl-mooded faculty, staff and student body were not all that Williams alerted. She also contacted a captain she knows with OC Animal Care, and around 2 p.m. Sunday Tim the Turkey was found wandering around near Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue.

Once the turkey was captured in someone's backyard, he was examined. Tim suffered bruises, chest swelling, trouble breathing, a broken toe, abrasions to his face, head and chest and part of his tail and several of his feathers were missing.

The stressed-out gobbler also had a black, sticky substance on him and—in what no doubt pointed investigators in the direction of the college—he smelled of beer.

Without saying how they suspected the two or what possibly motivated them, Orange Police Sgt. Phil McMullin says that with the help of Chapman University security, students Steven Koressel, 23, and Richard Brenton Melbye, 21, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and jailed Monday. They are the only ones suspected of having pulled what's assumed to be a prank, McMullin added.

But he also told the Orange County Register that Koressel and Melbye are not facing animal cruelty charges due to lack of evidence. Which begs the question: Hey, Orange Police Sgt. Phil McMullin, would you find the unsolicited removal of a large section of your tail feathers not cruel?

For its part, the university released a statement:

Two Chapman students have now been identified and arrested by the Orange Police Department in the incident in which the turkey was abducted from Orange High School. In addition to any criminal charges from OPD, the university will also undertake appropriate disciplinary actions.

Due to federal student privacy laws ... the university cannot identify the students or reveal details of the institution’s disciplinary actions–however, the university will not tolerate any instances of theft, animal abuse or cruelty, is appalled by this behavior, and takes this issue extremely seriously.


Would tarring, feathering and forcing the pair to join the next Undie Run be considered cruel and unusual punishment?

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