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Emu escapes in Mesa, dies when deputies try to wrangle her

Witnesses said a female emu named Richard escaped from her yard and deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office allegedly “lassoed” Richard.

MESA, Ariz. — A female emu named Richard died Thursday morning after a Maricopa County deputy tried to tangle the female emu that escaped from her yard.

Witnesses said the eu was “trapped” by police officers.

According to MCSO, deputies responded to the area of ​​113th Street and Minton Street in Mesa in reference to an “emu on the loose.” Deputies located the emu and while corralling it, it allegedly “collapsed and died,” deputies said.

MSCO said the emu was not shot by deputies or anyone else.

Michael Davis, a witness to the incident, told 12News Richard was walking around in front of the house. Davis said Richard was not violent or aggressive.

MCSO deputies arrived shortly after Davis saw Richard and put a “leash or rope” around Richard’s neck in an attempt to get her to a police vehicle, Davis said.

According to Davis, Richard passed out on the way to the police car, allegedly because the rope or belt around his neck was too tight.

“Everyone who was there to see it said, ‘Is it breathing? Are you suffocating?'” Davis told 12News.

Davis said the officers released the restraints around Richard’s neck and led her to the car. But Richard was “visibly in pain” and she was “kicking and screaming” as officers tried to get her into the car.

“Then it stopped moving,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, no one knew what to do at the time.”

Davis said Richard had escaped before, but when she did, the Sheriff’s Office called the Arizona Department of Agriculture and Richard was loaded into a horse trailer to be taken to her home .

“I don’t know why they didn’t do it this time,” Davis said. “I really don’t think the police had any ill intentions toward this creature, they were just ill-equipped, unprepared and untrained on how to deal with this situation.”

Launi Brockett told 12News she blames the officers for Richard’s death and filed a complaint with the MCSO Professional Standards Bureau. It’s unclear what Brockett’s relationship is to the animal.

“We try to help in any way we can without disrupting them,” Davis said. “They obviously don’t want us to get in their way either.”

Davis said Richard did not pose a threat to anyone or any property, and he hopes MCSO did not try to put Richard in the car and instead called organizations like AZDA to help Richard.

“If they slowed down and even called someone or looked it up on their phone, they might have some different solutions,” Davis said.

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