Top 5 Crimes Committed by Squirrels

You love to watch them frolic in the park, eat pine cones and even water ski. They’re so beloved they’ve overcome their unfortunate classification as rodents to leap their way into American hearts. Who doesn’t love squirrels? People who’ve been terrorized by squirrels, that’s who. Squirrels have you right where they want you, America, because the only thing squirrels love more than being the object of public adulation is pulling off major crimes. Dogs have been trying to warn us for decades, and we didn’t listen.

5 Squirrel Tries to Kill One Direction Singer

One Direction lead singer Niall Horan was attacked and hospitalized by a squirrel in 2012, forcing him to undergo an operation to fix torn ligaments in his knee. “I got attacked by a squirrel in Battersea Park,” he said. “They’re dangerous. It’s rare.” Yeah, rare to survive, Niall.

4 The 2011 NL Division Playoffs

You streak across the field at a sports stadium, you get thrown in the slammer. But that didn’t stop one rebellious squirrel from running onto the field crossing home plate during the 2011 N.L. Division playoffs between the Cardinals and the Phillies and in doing so making a mockery of the national pastime. Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt said that the squirrel distracted him on a pitch that was called a ball. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel alluded to the need to arm baseball clubhouses in order to deal with future threats. “Being from the South and being a squirrel hunter, if I had a gun there, might have did something,” Manuel said.

3 Squirrels Knock Out Power

USA Today calls them “Suicide Squirrels,” and like kamikazes in the Pacific during WWII, they’re almost impossible to stop. Communities nationwide every year are afflicted by power outages caused by squirrel electrocutions. No longer content with running in front of cars to end the painful misery of it all, squirrels are causing major headaches for tens of thousands of people every year. To cite just one example, a squirrel knocked out power to 11,000 homes in Oakland Hills, Calif., in 2012. In Alabama, hundreds of gallons of raw sewage poured into Mobile Bay after a squirrel cut power to a sewage lift station there. Meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security does nothing.

2 Squirrel Starts House Fire

What would motivate a squirrel to start a house fire? Was it an act of madness? Or was it personal? Investigators don’t know. What they do know is that a squirrel started a fire in the garage of an Essex home in England. A spokesman for the London fire brigade said, “It’s nuts to think that squirrels can start fires, but that’s exactly what happened here. We think it was nesting in the garage and caused the blaze by chewing through some cables.” It’s also “nuts” to take these animals lightly, chief.

1 Squirrel Shuts Down Amtrak

In 2012 one rogue squirrel blew a single circuit-breaker, causing a transformer to trip and a signal that guides locomotive engineers to go dark, leaving Amtrak trains in the Northeast on a collision course with hell. Luckily, humans were able to intervene in time to prevent a tragedy, but trains were seriously delayed, and some were canceled. It wasn’t the first time a squirrel has shut down Amtrak, and experts say—in spite of their efforts to harden targets throughout the line—it won’t be the last.

Joe Donatelli is a freelance writer. Follow him @joedonatelli.

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