The vacation had been a welcome break, but then the couple got back to their home and saw the shattered window. Could it have been a burglary? Was the intruder still there? There was only one way to find out, so with growing unease, they crept inside…
In April 2017 the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department received an unusual call. Apparently, a couple from Shorewood, Minnesota, had returned from a short trip to an unsettling sight. It looked like there had been a break-in at their property while they had been away.
The couple in question, the Petersons, had noticed a broken window at their property. They were presumably rather alarmed at the sight, too; after all, it could have been vandalism or even an active burglary.
It’s understandable, then, that the couple went to investigate the disturbance cautiously. And since they could see that the interior of the house had been showered with glass shards from the broken window, they knew it must have been hit with some force.
Whoever the intruder was, it seems that they hadn’t cared about stealth. Moreover, that might mean they wouldn’t be fearful about their trespassing being interrupted, either. And sure enough, the Petersons found the intruder brazenly sitting in their living room, acting as if he owned the place.
In fact, he had just settled down and made himself comfortable on the Petersons’ couch. And when the couple saw him, one can only imagine their shock. That’s because their uninvited guest was a large wild turkey – and he wasn’t going anywhere.
Now although you might not think this scenario sounds particularly threatening, wild turkeys can actually be quite aggressive. Indeed, there have been several cases of flocks of turkeys terrorizing communities, and these birds have the tools to do some damage. They have powerful wings, sharp beaks and potentially dangerous talons called spurs.
Furthermore, the term “pecking order” is rarely more literal than when it is applied to turkeys. If they aren’t shown firm but fair dominance, they tend to assert it themselves. They may even attack, which can be especially dangerous for frail people or children.
With that in mind, Barry Peterson got a broom to keep the turkey at bay. Meanwhile, his wife called 911 to ask for some assistance. “It’s kind of an odd request. I don’t know if I should call you or what,” she told the operator over the phone.
“We just came home from being gone,” she continued. “[A] wild turkey flew through our front window and is now in our house.” And if its Facebook page is anything to go by, the police department was as surprised as the Petersons were.
“A Shorewood resident came home to find a broken out window to their residence,” a post on the department’s Facebook page explained on April 3, 2017. “Shortly after, they located an unusual guest lounging on their sofa. He identified himself as Tom.” And as it turned out, Tom was aptly named.
Male turkeys are in fact referred to as Toms or gobblers. This particular Tom didn’t look like he was going anywhere, though, and indeed he seemed to be demanding squatter’s rights. While they were waiting for the police to arrive, meanwhile, the Petersons were trying to evict their unwanted guest themselves.
Yet despite the homeowners leaving the front door open, Tom seemed to be more interested in the warm living room. Meanwhile, not only were the Petersons making noises to deter the turkey, but they were also approaching close to herd him outdoors. Tom, however, seemed to find the couch infinitely more agreeable.
Tom was certainly stubbornly ignoring the Peterson’s heavy hints that they wanted him to leave. He did occasionally wander up to the window in his explorations, however. So his hosts thought that if they opened that too, the turkey might go out that way.
They were wrong. Indeed, Tom continued to ignore both exits as he trampled across the couch. Fortunately, it was at this point that help arrived in the shape of an officer from the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department. Of course, he noticed the large bird instantly.
And while the officer was blocking the exit, he couldn’t resist getting a picture of Tom himself. After asking permission from the Petersons, he took some photos – which Tom seemed happy to pose for. He still showed little respect for the law, however.
Undeterred, the goodnatured officer tried to herd Tom out himself, and yet the turkey just continued to ignore him. Though he did look a little bit more uncomfortable on the couch, Tom refused to move. Fortunately, the policeman’s backup was on its way.
Yes, two extra cops arrived at the crime scene, ready to help evict Tom from the Petersons’ home. With the exception of the open door and window, Tom had nowhere to go. They just had to get the stubborn turkey off the couch.
The officers had come properly equipped, too: one of them had a flashlight. And when this torch was paired up with the first cop’s camera-phone flash, the lights finally spooked Tom enough to get him down off the couch. Now he had nowhere to go but through the open door.
Despite the shattered glass, though, Tom was in perfect health, according to the police. “The wild turkey was not injured,” the department explained on its Facebook page. “Tom… left the home on his own and found a better spot in an oak tree.” For the sake of nearby residents, here’s hoping that Tom felt more at home there.