"Walk at Your Own Risk!" warn handwritten signs affixed to a chain-link fence that runs along a Civic Center Drive path jurors and court employees trudge across in Santa Ana.
The threat is not posed by criminal defendants, gone-postal divorcees or plump bailiffs who forgot their lunches.
It's THE BIRDS!
Or, at least, THE BIRD!
Greg Hardesty tells the goofy-ass tale in the Orange County Register.
"One more reason to dread jury duty," he begins his piece. "A nesting hawk has been harassing jurors and employees heading to and from the Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, prompting police to post warning signs."
"I thought it was odd," Melissa Monk, a 43-year-old Anaheim Hills resident who had jury duty Thursday, reportedly said of the signs.
Then she looked up and saw a hawk at the top of a tree, and it screeched. I hurried past."
The Santa Ana Police Department has apparently received complaints for the past two years, including reports that the hawk or hawks went all The Birds on people's heads.
Unfortunately, the path alongside Eddie West Stadium is unavoidable--unless those walking to court from the parking structure want to cross Civic Center, continue walking through the Flower Street crosswalk, re-cross Civic Center to get back to the correct side of the street, and continue onto the courthouse.
Actually, that's probably what Momma Hawk, who is apparently protecting her nest and now returning annually to do so, wants you to do.
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How about simply removing the nest?
The cops tried that.
U.S. Fish and Game supposedly sent out a field worker who climbed up to the hawk's perch, reported, "Yep, that's a nest alright," and then informed as a protected bird her home must stay.
Somewhere, Alfred Hitchcock must be smiling.