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Elizabethtown College Crime Spree at Lake Placida

Apr 26th, 2017 | By | Category: Features, Lead Article

Chris Hayes of MSNBC is the author of a recently published book, A Colony in a Nation. The book artfully tells the story of the colonial status of  people of color and the role of the police in maintaining and defining that status. The tale affords considerably attention to Ferguson and related incidents that occurred around 2014.  During that time EJ published an allegory addressing the same subject.  The editor was reminded of the story earlier today and decided to re-post it here.


Elizabethtown College is not crime-free. On December 1, three arrests were made at Lake Placida. Elizabethtown College campus security with the assistance of Elizabethtown Borough police made the arrests. Three were charged with violating the “catch and release” mandate at Lake Placida. Taken into custody were two ducks, Hughie Mallard and Dewey Mallard (not related), and one goose, Hudson J. Baigh.

They were arraigned and taken before the district magistrate. The clerk lined them up and identified them for the magistrate, “duck, duck, goose,” he announced.  The three were charged with catching and eating fish from the lake. The fish were not sushi-grade and the magistrate considered adding a health code violation of serving unhealthful vittles to the charges, but decided not to do so since the fish were not being sold or offered to other consumers.

Mr. Mallard and the other Mr. Mallard were fined fifty dollars for their offense.  The first Mr. Mallard protested, claiming that he spends nearly all of his time searching for food and had little time to secure employment.  He said he was broke.  The other Mr. Mallard claimed a similar circumstance.  The magistrate was not sympathetic and sentenced both Mr. Mallards to 30 days in the Lancaster County Prison in lieu of their remittance of the fine.

The magistrate then addressed Mr. Baigh, “I understand that you’re a Canadian Goose.”  Mr. Baigh responded, “No, your honor, I’m a Canada goose.” This seemed to irritate the magistrate and she fined him an additional fifty dollars for contempt of grammar.  The magistrate announced that since Mr. Baigh is Canadian and now has a criminal record, that she would be required to have him deported.  She added that Mr. Baigh did not meet the provisions of the president’s executive order and could not stay in the country.  Mr. Baigh was released on his own recognizance to “fly away home” and did so after an initial escort by a glider plane to get him started.

In recent years, the Lancaster County Prison has been troubled by several inmate suicides.  A prison spokesperson announced that the two Mr. Mallards met their ultimate fate by their mutual suicide. Prison officials have promised to investigate.  Victims advocates have offered a statement asserting that the Mr. Mallards’ deaths seem somewhat out-of-proportion to their minor crime, stating that after all they were not engaged in something more serious like selling single cigarettes without a tax license.  The announcement was made at a dinner for prison personnel of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and roasted fowl.  The Mr. Mallards’ remains are yet to be located.

Photo caption: Mr. Baigh before his flight back to Canada.

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