59-year-old Charles Douglas, the owner of Precise Roofing Co. in Burbank has been feeding flocks of pigeons since at least September 2010.
For nearly a year, officials have been trying to figure out what to do with him.
Officials say that he is violating municipal code and has created a major safety hazard for jet airplanes using the nearby Bob Hope Airport.
According to them, his feeding has birds’ numbers growing into the hundreds.
Following two court citations and a bench warrant for feeding the pigeons, Burbank police arrested Douglas at his business on Hollywood Way and Tulare Avenue.
Airport police Cmdr. Allen Schmitt said a plane strikes a bird at the airport once every two months on average. But the rate of strikes has increased recently, with five incidents in July alone, he added.
“Most of those were multiple — 10 to 20 to 30 birds at once,” Schmitt said. “Now it’s becoming extraordinarily dangerous.”
“A pigeon is not a problem, but a flock — that’s a problem,” he said.
Douglas’ arrest was the culmination of months of legal wrangling to stop the feeding.
“Our interest in this and the reason we are so invested — we’re not talking about 20 or 30 pigeons in the middle of nowhere; there are upward of 200 to 300 to 400 pigeons flying over runways,” Schmitt said.
Douglas, a Glendale resident, was arrested on suspicion of disobeying the court order and creating a public nuisance by feeding pigeons, according to police.
Burbank Assistant City Atty. Denny Wei said the maximum penalty for a conviction on one of the misdemeanors is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.