What was supposed to be routine overnight patrol for a Louisiana police officer turned into quite a hoot.
On Christmas Eve, an owl clawed up Covington Police Officer Lance Benjamin's shirt and started pecking at the back of his head.
"As I was exiting the subdivision, going about 10 miles an hour, suddenly I felt something hit the left side of my 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," Benjamin told WVUE in New Orleans.
The owl flew right into his open driver's side window and made himself right at home.
The scene was captured on Benjamin's body camera. But only after Benjamin's defensive driving training was put to good use.
"I tried to keep control of my car, went into a ditch, avoided some trees. Finally was able to stop the car put it in park get out and there he was just chilling out in the car," Benjamin told WVUE.
No one was hurt and there was only minor damage to Benjamin's cruiser.
As for the owl, the bird finally flew out the window after about 45 minutes.
Now, thanks to his fellow officers, Benjamin has a permanent partner in crime for those late night ride-alongs -- a pink stuffed owl that he calls his good luck charm.
Officer Benjamin got a tetanus shot and some antibiotics just in case. After all that, he returned to work the rest of his shift.