Prosecutors have identified the suspect allegedly involved in a bizarre scenario in the Crossroads. This is a story about the chicken who flew the coop but is now a jailbird.
Witnesses say a man, identified days later as 19-year-old Trever Hemen, broke into a costume shop Thursday evening then went to a neighboring bar.
The man allegedly busted the window of the Kansas City Costume Company, located at 2020 Grand Blvd., and stole a fluffy yellow cape and a feathered hat, witnesses say.
Dressed in the show-girl costume, the man went next door to the Cashew bar and restaurant about 10 p.m. Thursday. Witnesses called him the Big Bird Bandit because the show-girl costume looked like the Sesame Street character.
The man acted very casual as if nothing were amiss. He even took pictures with some of those at the Cashew while decked out in the getup that included a feathered hat.
"It was very bizarre, weird and intriguing all in one," Cashew waitress Amanda Blancarte said.
Police were called to the scene.
"It looked like a Big Bird suit. When the cops asked me what did he look like, I said, 'Big Bird. You cannot miss him.' It was a long robe with a long train to it and big puffy arms," Blancarte said.
She actually saw the man use his body to smash through the costume shop. Thirty minutes later, he showed up in a costume to the bar.
"He just sat down and people started taking pictures with him. He was enjoying it," she recalled.
Police eventually arrested him and sent him to an area hospital in an ambulance. He was later released and became a real-life jailbird whose wild escapades have become the talk of the town.
"I thought it was pretty bizarre, but it was hilarious," the waitress said. "I wasn't expecting it."
But it's no laughing matter for Steve Short, the owner of Kansas City Costumes. The cape was originally from a show at an Atlantic City resort in the 1970s.
The repairs will cost him a pretty penny - an estimated $2,000.
"The incident was not funny. When you break the window and somebody can be injured and items are stolen, that is not a joke. That's my problem with it," he said.
It took almost a week for Hemen to be identified. The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday night that the man, then known as "John Doe," faces a charge of second-degree burglary and theft. The costume is valued at $7,500. Repairing the costume and cleaning it will cost Short about $500.
Prosecutors say the man was intoxicated when he was arrested just before 10 p.m. Thursday and has refused to provide his name. He has refused to answer any questions, according to court documents.
Despite the media coverage, as of Friday, no one had called to identify the man or attempted to bond him out. His fingerprints were not already in the system.
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