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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hedgehog Crime Report

Man hurls hedgehog at teen, pays fine
Spiny critter hits 15-year-old boy, punctures his leg; man's motive unclear

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A New Zealand man accused of assault with prickly weapon — a hedgehog — has been fined by a court and ordered to pay most of his fine to his teenage victim.

Whakatane District Court was told Thursday that W.S. picked up the hedgehog and threw it several yards to hit a 15-year-old boy in the North Island east coast town of Whakatane on Feb. 9.

Police told the court the creature had hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks. The teen did not need medical treatment.

W.S. was convicted of common assault and offensive behavior following a defended hearing. He had pleaded innocent to the charges.

He was fined a total of $545 and ordered to pay $389 to his victim.

The more serious charge of assault with a weapon, namely a hedgehog, was dropped. The maximum penalty for that charge is five years in prison.

It remained unclear whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time of the attack, but Senior Sgt. Bruce Jenkins said earlier that it was dead when collected as evidence.

While using a hedgehog as a weapon in an assault is uncommon, Jenkins said people often got charged with assault for throwing things at other people.

Our Local Hedgehog declined comment. (file photo)

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