Hotel chef Dean Wade figured his foot chase of a driver who crashed a pickup truck into Malmesbury, England, storefront was over when they reached the fence of a wildlife sanctuary.
“Don’t go in there, look at that emu, it will do you in,” Wade warned the runaway driver, according to The Times.
The man, who Wade said appeared drunk, confidently bragged, “I can fight emus,” and scaled the fence containing the 6-foot bird and its offspring.
“The driver is throwing kung fu kicks and punches and the emu is moving its neck out of the way and jabbing him in the ribs and the head,” Wade recounted. “It must have hurt.”
“It was stabbing his body all over,” Wade told The Washington Post.
Wiltshire police later charged the man, whom they didn’t name, with drunk driving and other crash-related offenses, according to the Post. They said he sustained minor injuries.
As Wade, 42, tells the story, he was working in the Old Bell Hotel kitchen around lunchtime Monday when he heard the unmistakable “screeching noise” of an out-of-control auto. He ran outside to see a pickup smashed into a glass storefront and its driver and passenger running away.
Wade pursued the pair for 15 minutes through thickets, noticing the driver was “swaying” and “staggering,” until they reached the sanctuary.
“I could see this massive emu,” Wade told the Post. “I’m six foot tall and it was bigger than me.”
Emus, the world’s second-tallest bird after ostriches, are known as fiercely protective of their young, usually attacking predators with their legs, according to National Geographic.
After being subdued by the bird, the man fled the compound. Wade flagged down a passing police car and the man was arrested.
“My only regret is I didn’t have my phone in my hand to video it; the words don’t do it justice,” said Wade.