A Louisiana police officer on an overnight patrol was forced to ditch his cruiser after an owl attacked him.
Covington Officer Lance Benjamin was working early on Christmas Eve when he suddenly felt something hit him on the side of his face.
"So I'm thinking 'okay, maybe it was a football or something'. And then I felt some scratching on the back of my head and some pecking," he told New Orleans television station WVUE.
Ofc Benjamin said he briefly lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a ditch.
"Finally was able to stop the car, put it in park, get out and there he was just chilling out in the car," he said.
A photo of the owl inside the vehicle was posted on the department's Facebook page.
Ofc Benjamin said he opened the passenger-side window and after about 45 minutes the owl took off.
Chief Tim Lentz told WVUE he received a text message about the incident and initially thought it was a joke until he saw the photo and some blurry footage captured on the officer's body camera.
Ofc Benjamin's fellow patrolmen have not missed an opportunity to make light of the situation, giving their colleague a pink, stuffed owl that now sits on his dash.
"I'll bet he got a hoot out of that," Ofc Benjamin said.