Springfield IL- Sergeant Frank Garren stands boldly at 6-foot 4 and roughly 230 lbs, ostensibly an ominous presence to encounter if you're the enemy. That is, unless your adversary is a rogue rodent turned mercenary.
Rapes, muggings and child abductions by gangs of priest pedophiles forced into exile are expected in Washington Park, but squirrel attacks are extremely rare, especially when they are elaborately orchestrated. They may only weigh a couple of pounds, but if your taking a casual stroll in the park it can be death from above.
And that is what happened to Frank Garren after foolishly simulating a squirrel call, an act lampooned many times by comedians in plotless movies that take place in the great outdoors.
"This crazed squirrel meant business, and obviously feared nothing," Said the 34-year-old.
"I fought foot long scorpions in the desert and ate sand when I had to, hell I even survived an IED attack and caught 2lbs of shrapnel in my arm but I don't think anything could have prepared me for the ambush that struck me in a frenzy of teeth, tiny paws and bulging muscles."
Garren was barely able to pry the beast from his face as he wrestled with it and tumbled into a deep ravine, it fastened to him like a starfish as it relentlessly screeched and howled striking him over and over in what lasted close to 15 minutes.
As with any wild animal, squirrel attacks are possible but not common, said Greg Largent, director of operations for Sangamon County Animal Control. "People encounter wildlife in a variety of situations, and you know wildlife is unpredictable, so who knows what the squirrel was thinking, only the squirrel and Frank Garren know what happened that day," He said.
Garren says he's not exactly sure what prompted the attack, but thinks his squirrel call may have provoked it. Call it a talent or a curse, Garren apparently has a history of freak attacks that didn't start until he was discharged from the military due to the injuries he sustained. Almost 4 months ago, he was on a date at IHOPS and wanted to impress her with his whale call. She feigned amusement, but that abruptly ended after a 40 foot humpback whale crashed through the ceiling and crushed her. Garren wasn't charged with her untimely demise due to its incredulous improbability, but now after the squirrel incident law enforcement officials have begun scratching their heads.
Garren and his current girlfriend frequently visit Washington Park, and this particular outing was supposed to be for a school project for his biology class until it went completely awry.
"Whatever squirrel gibberish I said must've been taken out of context, if California schools can have Ebonics as an elective, then surely Rosetta Stone must offer a package for squirrel vernacular," Garren snickered.
Since the aerial assault, the alleged attacker has failed to be ascertained due to the incident not being reported to Springfield Park District Police. Capt. Jonathan Davis has reason to believe that the provocation stemmed from hikers and tourists feeding the squirrels human food, and through adaptation not only developed an affinity for meat but an addiction to the chemicals and hormones resulting in sudden aggression and the kind of physical enhancements that would make ostracized former MLB slugger Jose Canseco cry in comparison.
In May 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a student and two parents were attacked by a squirrel that crashed through the glass window of a San Jose elementary school classroom, beating a child into submission and taking off with one of the parents wallets. As of now, it is not known if these incidents are related but officials aren't taking anything for granted and have begun taking hand grenades and painting them to look like acorns to be sporadically sprinkled throughout the park in the name of justice and the American way.