• Shirley man says he's scared to leave house without helmet after hawk attacks

    By: Christine McCarthy

    Updated:

    SHIRLEY, Mass. - A Shirley man attacked by a hawk three times over the past week now refuses to leave the house without a helmet.

    The man, who asked not be identified out of embarrassment, told Boston 25 News the bird flew at his head each time, and, even drew blood on Tuesday.

    "It's very, very scary," he said. "Every time I go out now, I have to wear a helmet, and if I hear a sound or airplane or some weird sound, I just duck and I always put my hand behind my head in case I get attacked again."

    His wife dialed police in an amusing call on Tuesday, explaining to the dispatcher what she thought was a falcon attack.

    "He hit my husband three times. Today is the third time," she told the dispatcher. 

    "What do you mean, he hit your husband?" the dispatcher asked.

    "He hit my husband from the back," she responded. "I have pictures of the blood."

    Shirley police found the homeowner wearing his helmet and hiding at his Groton Road home.

    "He said a falcon was dive-bombing him and actually struck him in the back of the head when he was in his backyard," said Shirley Police Sgt. Peter Violette. "He was fearful, and he advised us to watch out for the bird, because he was flying around in the backyard from tree to tree."

    "It was kind of hysterical, because he's wearing a helmet, and we're coming out, and he's hiding in the car," added Sr. Patrolman Craig LaPrade.  "It's like, a falcon? That would be a new one for us, because I don't think we see falcons around here, other than in the shape of a car. A '64 Falcon."

    There wasn't much police could do besides instruct the homeowner to leave the hawk alone and to call Environmental Police. Eventually, the bird flew away, but the homeowner expects it to return.

    He believes the bird may have been annoyed one night when he used his fire pit in the backyard below a nest in a very tall tree. The homeowner and police believe there could also be a baby bird the hawk is protecting.

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