Rat Infestation Turns into Possible Fine for Local Man

Local News
Adam Brungardt says he’s doing all he can to tame the pests problem at his home.
 
“Over the summer I know I killed over 120 rats in my backyard,” Brungardt said. “I wasn’t even setting traps out along here.”
 
Brungardt, who has a one year old son, says even rattlesnakes have started to slither way too close for comfort. He believes that the large juniper shrubs behind his backyard are what attract the snakes and rats.
 
Brungardt says he and few of his neighbors made several attempts to get the city to maintain the shrubs but were unsuccessful. So he trimmed the shrubs himself, and today was the first time he’s been contacted by the city— and law enforcement.
 
“I’ve been slowly trimming them for seven months and we got a phone call today from the police department about felony vandalism,” Brungardt said. “For three trees they said [it’s] $17,000 in damage.”
 
“This morning they said that there’s a good possibility that an arrest and felony charges were possible.”
 
Brungardt, who was surprised by the call, says he only trimmed them because he never heard back from any one with the city.
 
Meanwhile the parks and recreation director says he never heard from Brungardt.
 
“I had no contact so I don’t know who he tried to reach,” Jack Murphy said. “I think it was reported just yesterday.”
 
“I’m just trying to keep my family safe and control the rodent population,” Brungardt said. “I’m kind surprised that if the city won’t help us out that they’re going to come after me for trying to take care of what they should’ve already done.”
 
Brungardt says he was later contacted and was told police will not pursue felony charges but a fine still looms.

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