Austin Texas’ SWAT team is feeling the heat, after swooping down on a suspected koi rustler. “Eric Philippus, 43, said 10 to 12 police officers came to search his house about 10 a.m. yesterday, knocking down the door and drawing guns on his 17-year-old son and his other son’s girlfriend,” statesman.com reports. “Philippus said he was not at home at the time but heard the story after he arrived hours later to find his door damaged and his house in disarray.” Those must be some expensive fish eh? I know what you’re thinking: don’t play koi with me . . .
Zilker Botanical Gardens reported 13 of their fish missing from the the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden. The fish, which were 2 to 3 feet in length and weighed 15 to 20 pounds each, were valued at $150 to $200 each, according to a city spokesperson.
Yes, OK. Expensive fish. Check. But a dozen cops? Philippus says WTF and it wazzunt me.
“I go to the Botanical Garden all the time. I’ve been going there for years. I would never do anything to harm those fish or any other fish as a matter of fact.”
The police have not attempted to question him since the search, Philippus said.
“They’re looking for koi in strange places—in the bedroom, in the closet, places that can’t hold water or fish,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. I love my koi fish more than anything but I never point a loaded gun at anybody over a fish without even checking the information.”
Philippus said police were acting on a tip from the owner of local pond shop. He is contemplating taking legal action and has been in touch with his lawyer.
“An apology would go a long way,” Philippus said.