Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am


Two Perspectives: The Hillside Rat Slayer Part 1

Recently you may have heard of a case being brought back into the spotlight by Andrew Ruvuolo's documentary, that accounts an event dating back to August 1994 "The Rat Slayer of Hillside".

Frank Balun, 69-year-old resi-dent of Hillside and the owner of a garden filled with various types of jersey tomatoes, had an issue with rats constantly eating his crop. In lack of being able to get pest con-trol to come to his house, he took matters into his own hands and took a broom several times to the rat resulting in its death. Balun's Court Summons cour-tesy of the Newark Humane So-ciety's Lee Bernstein stopped this common man dealing with a pest in his tracks.

That's when things took a turn to Balun's rise in fame as the rat killer.The municipal court was filled with 150 people, Balun's prosecutor Chris Howard, The Judge Albert Parsonnett and Humane Societies, Lee Bernstein, Balun risked gaining fines up to 1,250 dollars and six months in jail, caused by killing a rat. Which looking from afar appears absurd in this day in age looking back at 1994, because of today's privacy rights. But, analyzing beyond the surface I think it should be em-phasized that a " Nuisance animal or any animal deserves a quick and painless death" According to The Inquirer. Taking into ac-count the importance of his prized tomatoes, it still shouldn't give someone the go ahead to beat an animal.

In the time this case was brought to rise things were blown way out of proportion, while it is important to exercise your rights to freedom of speech, I don't think it was nec-essary to place the crucified body of a muskrat a cherry tomato in its mouth, on the front lawn of Ber-stein's home in the Union Beach, Monmouth County," according to The Inquirer, a present from the fans of Balun to state their opin-ion.

This should be looked at through the lens of sensibility, think about what would happen if we all took the standpoint that "the world all of us if even a rat mattered." The Inquirer. I hope you take a moment to think about the pests, wouldn't we want to be killed as painless and humanely as possible.

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