What do you get when you mix Maricopa County law enforcement, A&E, armor, Steven Seagal, and an allegation of cockfighting?
I don't think anyone knows the answer to that yet, but I can't wait to see what South Park might do with it.
Let's start with the picture at the right: I don't remember the official designation of this particular vehicle, but I do know that it's technically a "self-propelled gun" that mounts a 155mm cannon. And it sits in the back lot of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. I saw it there -- as here -- in September, 2006.
The story itself begins in March of this year. And from that point, the story gets....strange. Which, in my book, makes it a natural for South Park, but I digress.
Not being a cable TV watcher (again), I have never seen the A&E series, Steven Seagal: Lawman. Being an action movie watcher, I have seen an assortment of implausible action movies that feature the occasionally-stretched martial arts acumen of Steven Seagal (Out For Justice, Under Siege I & II, Above The Law, etc..). And who hasn't heard of "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio, the hard-handed sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona?
Well apparently, some of Seagal's A&E "reality" show is being filmed with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. Including a "raid" by MCSD Swat & other units this past March, on a home in or near Laveen, Arizona.
Which also included the use of at least one tank. I don't know if it was the one pictured above or not.
But what makes the story more interesting is what the raid was staged for: to take down an alleged "fighting rooster operation".
Yeah, that was my first thought, too: a resounding "WTFFF*???"
The raid took place on March 9, 2011. Now according to Maricopa County, the raid was staged as it was -- with SWAT and armor support -- because the alleged mastermind behind the "fighting rooster operation" was reportedly armed. Seagal (and a film crew for his A&E show) just happened to be along. One person was arrested, and there were 116 casualties of the raid: 115 roosters, and one family puppy. The arrested person -- the alleged mastermind -- was found unarmed, and offered no resistance.
I reckon not, when a 30 ton tank introduces itself rather abruptly to one's home. The family can-opener is a bit overmatched here. Don't even think of deploying a Salad Shooter against a tank.
Now at the end of August, the alleged mastermind is now preparing to sue Maricopa County and Seagal for physical damages, emotional damages, a dead puppy, and the loss of what he claims were 115 "show roosters".
It's apparent that something here went afowl. How that something will be played out remains to be seen, literally: on Steven Seagal: Lawman, or on Court TV. Or maybe even Dancing With The Stars. So-called "reality" TV is anything but.
On the surface of it, it sounds to me like Maricopa County went overboard to help out celebrity Seagal. A whole SWAT team and a tank to take down 115 roosters?
Then again...what if the original allegations about the real purpose of so many roosters in one place were justified. What if they were being bred for cockfighting?
Still doesn't justify a full SWAT team and a tank, you say? Well, I would tend to agree.
Until I throw in this, once I allowed my thrice-concussed mind to kick in: what if those 115 roosters were being bred for cockfighting, based on watching the plethora of Steven Seagal action movies? SEAL team-quality training to produce the foulest of fowl-trained cockfighters? Perhaps the owner had in mind his own odious "ultimate crime" plan in mind, with him in the role of Tommy Lee Jones/Eric Bogosian of Under Siege I & II notoriety. Remember that Tommy Lee Jones character in the first movie was a renegade CIA agent, intent on stealing a US Navy battleship and stealing (for sale) the nuke-tipped Tomahawk missiles aboard her. And Bogosian? He was another CIA rogue, who hijacked a passenger train from which he took over a satellite that could trigger massive earthquakes from space.
SO...here we have a mild-mannered, non-descript person, who perhaps was actually the leader of 115 highly-trained, baddest of the bad-attituded fowl of dubious eggecedence, and primed with the best training Seagal was ever portrayed to have? We'll never know if the dude was ever a rogue member of the CIA, 'cuz we all know the CIA denies everything, regardless of the profitability of the storyline in Hollyweird. And we'll probably never know against which part of the USA he planned to launch his elite commando cocks...I'm tending to lean toward one or more restaurant chains serving chicken. He was (or is) probably being funded by a super secret and very very militant branch of PETAA (Persons for the Elite Training of Attack Animals).
If that scenario is remotely possible -- and in this day and age of alleged "reality" TV, what ain't? -- but for the quick and decisive work of Seagal and Sheriff Joe's 'elite', backed by armor and a reality show film crew, we could have been subjected to Under Siege III -- Fowl Territory.
Whatever the truth of the matter, I for one cannot wait to see when and/or what South Park does with this. I'll bet you it's almost weirder than my take...
* What The Fighting Fowl F***...
Labels: Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Steven Seagal, SWAT rooster raid, tank