Something is rotten inside the LAdeH (“Les Amis de Hieronymous”), otherwise known as The Friends of Hieronymous, and Park Police have been working to uncover its identity.
At a press conference held this morning, Serge Malinois, spokesAnimal for Park Police, outlined details of an “intensive” investigation that, he said, has been ongoing since February 12 of this year.
“The timing is significant, of course,” Malinois said, referring to the controversy that ensued when Toro Talk Radio host Yannis Tavros made some derogatory remarks about Hieronymous Hedgehog on his radio show that same day.
Immediately afterwards, a group calling itself Les Amis de Hieronymous sprang into action, demanding a formal on-air apology from Tavros. When it became apparent that the apology would not be forthcoming, the group became, in Malinois’ words, “aggressive, belligerent, and downright dangerous.” Group members took to the streets, protesting against both Tavros and the radio station, until the station was forced to suspend Tavros. With that success under their belts, the group members set their sights on undermining Park citizens’ confidence in their police force.
“It came to a head at the Return of the Nut,” Malinois explained at the press conference. When six of the 400 Animals arrested at the ceremony filed complaints against Park police officer Gareth Shepherd, alleging that he had bitten them repeatedly as he pushed them into a vehicle bound for the police station, “we knew something had gone awry,” Malinois said.
It wasn’t just that Shepherd is president of the Federation of Canine Security Workers and a well-respected member of the force. It was the coincidence that all six complainants were members of the LAdeH.
“A total of 400 Animals were arrested at that event, but only those from the LAdeH filed complaints,” Malinois said.
By the time the arrests were made (February 20), the investigators had compiled a “thick file” of information about the group and its members. They also had been able to confirm with Hieronymous Hedgehog that he had had no contact with the group and that he knew none of the six Animals who had filed complaints against Shepherd.
“What we are looking at here, we believe, are members of an anti-zoocratic group that has operated outside The Park for many years. This is the first time that we know of that their members have been able to infiltrate The Park. We are working closely with our contacts outside The Park to confirm our suspicions,” he said.
Malinois declined to answer questions regarding the fate of the suspects, who continue to be held in custody, nor would he confirm rumours that the charges against Shepherd will be dropped in the near future.