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Opinion

Squirrel gang terrorizes campus

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February 19, 2009

Though still mid-February, it seems there are many signs hinting toward a premature Spring season. With Mother Nature teasing the students of River Falls with occasional temperatures groping the mid forties, and the temptation to inflate their dying basketballs for a game of lightning, life on campus appears good.

On multiple occasions has Main Street been submerged under salty, slushy water while residents trudge through in tennis shoes, Capri’s, and t-shirts. Life is simple in warm weather as the sun grazes over foreheads seeming within arm’s reach.

But with Spring’s welcoming offers comes a hefty, annual price. Since these untimely and phenomenal occurrences started, on at least three occasions have students been terrorized, in at least one case violently, by lingering squirrels. In recent weeks a renegade gang of squirrels known as the “Silent Seven” have returned to campus. The gang was thought to have Harley’d their way out of the city back in 1999. The Silent Seven, composed of seven muscular, beard bearing squirrels, were known for their ruthless scrounging, looting, and mugging, and often targeted River Falls students in the late months of winter. The recent attacks have taken place in the Silent Seven’s old stomping grounds.

The first occurrence took place on the walking path running parallel to the Melvin Wall Amphitheatre. The male student, who wishes to remain anonymous, was approached by a dark figure, most likely the gang’s leader Musky Marv, and chased for a quarter of a mile before “barely getting away,” he said. The second attack—this one much more aggressive—pitted student Keith Cremin against a host of fury gang members.

Cremin, a sophomore majoring in Digital Film and TV, was taking a midnight stroll behind the Hathorn dormitory when he was jumped by two of the Silent Seven. “He just came out of nowhere – probably the trees!” Cremin said. Shaken, he continued: “they pulled my shirt over my head and took my wallet. They swarmed me and then I was on the ground.” Cremin finished by frantically reenacting the episode by twirling around as if blinded, then falling to the ground where he claimed to have “balled up in fear.” He then displayed multiple scratches and then admitted he was wearing thick make-up to cover a grotesquely blackened eye.

The third and arguably laughable encounter occurred just four days ago when female student Jackie Flynn and her boyfriend Gabriel Blanchester were attacked by a fellow human student. The assailant, who also currently wishes to remain anonymous (until next week’s Public Safety reports), explained what happened. “I engaged the guy first by throwing him to the ground, and then I went for the girl,” he said, also trembling. The assailant then grabbed Flynn’s shoulders in an attempt to mug her when he was grabbed and thrown to the ground. “I could smell its rancid breath as it leaned over my face.”

“Ain’t okay to pick on the ladies, [expletive]” said Musky Marv. “I thought I was toast,” said the attacker before he himself was beaten and robbed. “After me they started on [Gabriel], but left [Jackie] alone!” The goon then broke down in tears, shielding his face with bandaged hands. The River Falls Police Department is readying for a stiff examination into the attacks and have fronted Officer Ryan ‘Stil’ Stiller as the lead investigator.

“I’ve been on the force for three years now, and I’ve never seen such atrocities,” Stiller said. “But know this, The Silent Seven will be met by the unstoppable force that is me,” he said, stroking his chrome Colt .45. The investigation is underway, but no leads have been discovered. As for now, students and River Falls residents alike are being asked to travel in groups after 9 p.m., leave their valuables at home, and to lock their car doors.

Brad Brookins is a graduate of UW-River Falls.