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Everybody loves an animal story, but …
It’s been a journalism platitude for I don’t know how long that there are no new stories.
I disagree. The Apollo Moon Landing 41 years ago was certainly new. So was Sputnik in 1957. And let’s not forget Hiroshima.
Still, the AJC broke a local news first about a week ago on its Community Page in the Metro section, at least in my memory. A seven-paragraph item — a cop brief really — with the two-line , one-column headline:
“Covington man accused of having sex with horses.”
For real. A 37-year-old guy, wearing only pajama bottoms, was arrested by Covington police after neighbors who witnessed the incident called 911. They hesitated at first because they thought dispatchers would think they were joking.
But they overcame their qualms, and one Byron Christopher Jordan was charged with bestiality, a felony, and giving police a false name.
To my knowledge, this story was a first of its kind for the AJC, though I recall the late afternoon Atlanta Journal almost broke a story like it in the early ’80s. Now it can be told.
The late Orville Gaines, the Journal’s legendary Atlanta cop reporter for more than 40 years — he hardly ever left the cop shop except once a week to pick up his check, and never came in the newsroom — filed the following item he had found in a police report.
(I suspect Orville didn’t really expect it to run, but was having fun messing with morning editor Herb Steely’s head.)
Atlanta police had arrested and charged some guy for copulating with his German shepherd on his lawn, to the astonishment of appalled neighbors.
According to the cop report, the creep told arresting officers, “If you can’t screw your own dog in your own yard, what can you do? We’re losing all our rights in this country.”
I don’t think Thomas Jefferson had that in mind.