Fish attacks

Published 1:37 am Saturday, September 25, 2010

AHOSKIE – Was it a flying fish, or did a customer’s finger appear as a quick meal?

Those are the questions the Ahoskie Police Department are attempting to answer.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday, Ahoskie Police Officer Jesse Mizelle was summoned to Lu’s Buffet on Memorial Drive, responding to a report that a customer inside the restaurant had been bitten by a fish.

“What Officer Mizelle was able to determine was that a female customer was apparently showing a small child some fish that the owners of the restaurant have in a fountain-type display at the front of the restaurant,” Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said. “The officer was advised that as she was pointing to the fish, the fish bit her on the finger.”

However, what is not known at this time is how close the woman was to the fountain.

“She didn’t offer any information of how close her finger was to the water,” Fitzhugh said.

The Police Chief added that the owner of the restaurant observed the incident.

“He witnessed the fish seized on the woman’s finger,” Fitzhugh noted.

‘They do have a video camera inside the restaurant; I’d like to go back and view the video to see just exactly how close she was to the fountain,” Fitzhugh added.

Mizelle’s report said the woman called the police.

“The victim said she only wanted to file a report as to have something on file to show that it happened,” Fitzhugh said. “She also advised the officer that she wanted to go to the (Roanoke-Chowan Hospital) ER (Emergency Room) to have the fish bite checked out.”

Fitzhugh stated that the fountain display contains different types of fish, including a large one. Allegedly it was the large fish that attacked.

“The restaurant owner told me he has had that particular fish for about five years and it has never before acted in this manner,” Fitzhugh said.

As part of his investigation into the incident, Officer Mizelle reportedly used a string to dangle in front of the fish to see if would react. Fitzhugh said the fish made no attempt to attack the string.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal