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Police sting involving rabbit costume sparks criticism in Glendale

A pedestrian sting operation in Glendale, in which a police officer dressed as a rabbit, has sparked controversy, with one councilman calling it “breathtakingly dangerous."

For an hour and a half, Police Officer Tom Broadway donned the eye-catching costume during an enforcement sting aimed at educating motorists about yielding to pedestrians walking along unmarked crosswalks. Police cited 24 motorists on suspicion of failing to yield as Broadway walked across Central Avenue.

“One of the violators said he was confused by it,” Sgt. Dennis Smith told the News-Press. “He said he hopped in front of him.”

Police said the sting was about more than just enforcement, with officers also taking time to educate motorists.

But the operation infuriated Councilman John Drayman, who said he learned of the sting only after it had taken place.

He called the enforcement sting a “stupid traffic stunt” that was “breathtakingly dangerous."

Read the full story here.

Photo: A car does not stop for a Glendale police officer dressed in a rabbit costume crossing the street at Central and Garfield avenues Wednesday. The driver was pulled over for not yielding to a pedestrian. Credit: Raul Roa / News-Press

-- Veronica Rocha, News-Press

Comments () | Archives (26)

Isn't it jaywalking to cross a street when there's no crosswalk? While motorists should watch out, pedestrians should be held accountable to have some bit of common sense.

Good for the Police! It just shows how much people break the law. Now how about cellphones.

If some weirdo in a rabbit costume walks toward my car, I'm not stopping and waiting. I'm getting out of there before that freak gets anywhere near me.


And when you California drivers come north to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival, remember that we ticket drivers who won't stop for pedestrians and the fine is substantial.

I applaud LAPD's efforts to get drivers to a) slow down and b) stop for pedestrians. The statistics for driver/pedestrian fatality rate at 40mph is 85% for the ped.

couldnt you argue that pedestrian laws do not apply to rabbits? :)

Most excellent! Keep it up GPD!

I like this Councilman John Drayman. Totally agree with him, stupid! Seems this sting is more for revenue purposes and not educating...

It may very well be a stupid traffic stunt but it's not the first time it's been done. The LAPD did an identical operation around Easter on Santa Monica and Cahuenga about a dozen years ago. It seems like a really dangerous way to make a point, for both the officer(s) and the driving public.

LAPD is a joke! glendale police department should be cited for inproper use of their time! thats embarrassing!

I think someone needs to really educate the police how to behave and enforce the law, instead of making fun of themselves by disguising as a cartoon figure and instead of taking the laws on their hands. I am really amazed by these people that they WANT TO and CAN educate someone when they CANNOT see their short-comings. What a shame!

This isn't an April Fools Joke, right?

I think it's great! I've been hit by a car in a marked crosswalk, and I know two other people who were as well.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as an unmarked crosswalk - good to know!

Plus, the photo of the guy in the bunny suit is priceless!

With the number of hit and runs of pedestrians (and cyclists) occurring *daily* in Los Angeles, drivers need to be made more aware of their responsibilities. I'd rather have two dozen self-centered, distracted, dangerous drivers busted by this stunt than even one pedestrian dead because the careless driver was using a phone, playing with the radio, fixing their makeup, or otherwise not paying attention. CA law states drivers must yield to pedestrians pretty much *all the time* - not just whenever you feel like it, as most Angelenos seem to think. If you and I are both at an intersection - you in your car, me on foot - I have the right-of-way: you do not get to cut in front of me for your right turn just because you think you can do it quickly and safely. LA drivers should be required to take the written exam every two years and score 75% or better in order to keep driving.

I'd rather the fine officers net some cell-phone drivers. How about stationing an officer on the street with a walkie talkie while other officers further along the road nab the cell using/driving perps?

How dumb is that!

As usual, it's the police's fault for crossing the street.

HEY, if the stunt worked, then GREAT! Apparently, this was the means the Police had to take for motorists to wake up to the rules of the road. The "educated" ones should be thankful for the lesson learned and for not getting a ticket!! Unfortunately, most peds are not wearing costumes to make them more visible. I'm sure if the Police were in plain clothes, they would've educated a lot more motorists. Kudos to the P.D. for this and for making a potentially harmful situation into a lesson induced with a litle amusement.

When people are focused on a task, they often just don't see things—especially things which are highly unusual. When counting basketball passes, 50% won't see a person in gorilla costume walk through the game. (http://theinvisiblegorilla.com/gorilla_experiment.html)

Likewise, the FAA found that a significant number of experienced pilots just didn't see the 747 parked across their runway upon their flight simulator landing approach.

For a valid test, the Glendale Police should have used a normally attired pedestrian.

Nothing wrong with getting people to stop for pedestrians, even if they are in bunny costumes.

John Drayman needs to slow down.

If you've ever been a pedestrian in Glendale you know the perils of the crosswalk. It is one of the highest-ranking cities in the country for pedestrian-car collisions. They should bring out the bunny suit more regularly.

It's NOT "breathtakingly dangerous" as the councilman opines. Cars have to stop at marked AND unmarked intersections for a pedestrian. All pedestrians.

The pedestrian could be a lady with a baby carriage, a lady wearing a sari, a little girl in a princess costume, a man in a baseball uniform, a man in a bunny suit, a firefighter in work gear, a boy in a boy scout uniform....

The bunny suit was legal, valid, and not entirely unusual for an entertainment town like Los Angeles.

One would truely have to be a "dumb bunny" to walk out into speeding traffic like that!

Is this an April Fool's joke? Just wondering.

They went from army maniacs shooting journalists from the sky to getting rid of street vendors selling cute pets to this? Jeez Louise, what's next, bunny person robs Starbucks?

This type of "police sting" which takes place outside a crosswalk at an intersection, which happens often, I just saw it on the news, is totally unfair. The ticket should not be given to the driver. "California Vehicle Code Section 21954(a) Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk - Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard." Granted the Code continues "(b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway." The mere act of plotting against drivers in the name of "education" is contradicting in regards to pedestrians. This "lesson" operates under the presumption that it is alright and acceptable to cross a busy roadway with no regard to crosswalks and consequences. This is simply a waste of police rescources.

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