PRAIRIE dog issue in Bixby heats up

Saturday, August 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Updating the Bixby prairie dog story. The man at the center of a prairie dog controversy is cooperating with Bixby Police. 70-year old Condell Pollard spoke with officers Friday afternoon after a confrontation with a Channel 2 news photographer.

They caught it on tape and so did we. Woman's voice: "Oh, Jesus. He just hit that guy, call the cops." Photographer: "OK. Pollard: "You like it. You like it. Photographer: "Let me tell you something. I am a Tulsa Police officer. Call Bixby PD. And I was rolling tape the entire time. You're going to be under arrest in less than a half hour." That was Channel 2 News Photographer Kevin Foristal, who happens to be a Tulsa Police Reserve officer.

Foristal says his back was injured when Pollard's pickup ran into him. Now, here's what apparently set Pollard off, an argument at a meeting over what to do with the prairie dogs living on his land.

Pollard wants the animals moved, but disagrees with a local citizens group on how to proceed. In fact Pollard's wife told KOTV Friday that some quote "overzealous" citizens have been "harassing" them, when all they wanted to do was safely move the animals to a nature preserve near Oklahoma City.

Bixby Police Major Walt Birdsong told KOTV, Pollard voluntarily came in to see them Friday afternoon, but did not want to give a statement without an attorney present. Police say they'll give him a couple days to make that happen.

Bixby Police also came by KOTV Friday, and served a search warrant to get a copy of our video. They plan to turn the case over to the District Attorney's office on Monday.