A 35-year-old Seattle man was arrested earlier this month after nearly running over Mr. Peepers while fleeing the scene of an attempted shoplifting. Peepers, a local duck reportedly associated with the man’s girlfriend in a pet capacity, was unharmed.
Authorities said that Kenneth Quinlan, his girlfriend, and Peepers drove to a shopping center in Lynnwood, Washington, where he entered a Linens-n-Things outlet (somehow getting through the Impenetrable Shield of Boredom that normally keeps men out of such a place) while she and Peepers entered a Petco. According to court papers, a security guard thought he saw Quinlan try to shoplift one of the Things (specifically, an iPod speaker system), and Quinlan fled after a scuffle.
Peepers, meanwhile, was eating some bugs inside Petco when Quinlan burst in, pursued by the guard. Quinlan managed to get the car keys from his girlfriend and then dashed outside, trying to escape, followed by the guard, girlfriend, and Peepers. As Quinlan was backing the car up, the open door knocked his girlfriend down, causing her to drop Peepers and putting him in harm’s way as Quinlan began to pull forward, heedless of the impending avicide he was about to commit.
Then, in a sequence that I very much hope will be re-enacted and filmed in slow motion, maybe for the Discovery Network or something like that, a Petco employee spied Peepers facing imminent death and “ran to save Peepers from the front of the car.” Quinlan drove forward. Peepers looked about helplessly. Petco Girl continued her dash, in frustrating though extremely dramatic slow motion. Pulse-pounding music swelled to a crescendo. Suddenly, over a thousand miles away, a woman sat bolt-upright in bed, gripped by a nameless dread she could not explain, but then she realized it was nothing and went back to sleep, so she’s really not part of this story, although it is a strange coincidence, but just then Petco Girl managed to reach Peepers, knocking him out of the way. But Quinlan drove on, running over the woman’s leg and breaking bones in her foot and ankle.
But Peepers was safe.
Quinlan was arrested after managing to crash his car into another one nearby. He was charged with two counts of third-degree assault, one count each of vehicular assault and hit-and-run, and one count of causing emotional distress to a mallard.