(This story was printed on page 1 of the June 26, 1956 issue of The Akron Beacon Journal, and is reprinted word-for-word below.).
Driver Grabs At Bird, Hits New Police Car
A parakeet virtually demolished a spanking new police cruiser Monday. Not all by itself, of course, but the bird was the villain.
Sgt. Darwin Weigle, in charge of police special equipment, was taking a new cruiser—with only 16 miles (25.7 km) on it—out for a break-in spin.
At the bottom of the Tallmadge Pkwy. hill, another car rammed head-on into the cruiser and shoved it against a guard railing. It is not believed the cruiser is worth trying to fix.
DRIVER OF THE other car, Hester H. Rhodes, 47, explained it this way. She was driving home, 1461 W. Exchange St., with “Francie,” a blue parakeet she had promised to care for some Tallmadge friends who were going on vacation.
At the bottom of the hill, the bird got out of its cage and Miss Rhodes tried to grab it. She lunged and the car went out of control, hitting the cruiser.
Weigle was treated at City Hospital for minor injuries. Miss Rhodes drew a citation for driving left of center.
Francie wasn’t hurt a bit. When questioned today, the bird wouldn’t talk, though.