Man attacked while wearing bird costume

February 21, 2011 8:17:40 PM PST
You're probably used to seeing costumed characters outside of local businesses, promoting a product. While most drivers laugh at them and just keep going, a couple of guys pulled over and got violent.

The victim was injured, his costume damaged and he says it's become a copycat prank young people are seeing online and at the movies.

'Birdie' the mascot uses a little comedy to entice people into a southeast Houston furniture store on weekends, but it wasn't too funny when he was attacked during his shift Saturday.

"It felt like a truck hit me," said the man behind the mascot, Russ Vogel.

Vogel was working from 2pm to 5pm Saturday out in front of Exclusive Furniture store on Interstate 45 near Almeda Genoa.

"Getting us a lot of advertisement, people driving by, just stopping by, wanting to see what the bird is about," said Zeke Cervantez with Exclusive Furniture.

Right as his shift was ending though, someone attacked from behind, sending him and his furry costume tumbling to the ground.

And he wasn't about to let it go.

"I think he was laughing as he was running away until he found out I was in back of him and then he got a little panicky," Vogel said.

So he chased his attacker down to an awaiting car.

"Put both hands on the front of his hood and looked them dead in the eye, 'I got your license plate number and I got you and you,'" Vogel recalls telling the suspects.

But the suspects backed over a curb and got away.

Vogel was left with some minor bruises and tweaked his arm.

The costume was damaged. The eyes and mouth no longer move because of a broken cable.

Vogel believes movies and YouTube videos could be to blame.

"I guess this is life imitates art, because there have been a couple of movies, where the guy is dressed as a burger and somebody comes by and body slams him and knocks him down," Vogel said.

But the stunt is also a crime and police are investigating it as an assault. Some eyewitnesses were able to provide police some good clues. The attacker left in a silver Scion with the license plate number HRT 980.