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‘That’s a wild animal:’ Horned goat ‘service animal’ triggers outrage on Detroit bus, video shows

Erick Brown during a 2015 road trip with his goat, Deer, through Kansas City. Brown and his horned goat “service animal” were heckled and forced to get off a Detroit bus Sunday night, video shows.
Erick Brown during a 2015 road trip with his goat, Deer, through Kansas City. Brown and his horned goat “service animal” were heckled and forced to get off a Detroit bus Sunday night, video shows. Keith Myers — kmyers@kcstar.com

Some bus riders worried about getting lice from the horned goat.

Other passengers feared for their small children’s safety.

But whatever the rationale, the consensus among agitated, shouting bus riders was clear: Erick Brown, who had lugged his horned goat onto a Detroit bus on March 25, had to get off — even if the goat was a service animal, as Brown said.

Just about everyone around Brown whipped out their phones around 8 p.m. to capture the chaotic scene, though the goat seemed remarkably unfazed by the attention. One video of the incident has been viewed more than a million times.

In the video, a large group of bus riders and the bus driver plead with and shout at Brown, urging him to get off the bus. Finally, after a couple of minutes, Brown quietly disembarks.

The goat’s name is Deer, Brown told WJBK, and he takes the goat with him everywhere — including on the bus. Brown has even gone on cross-country road trips with the animal, toting the goat in his van as far afield as Florida and Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reports.

Why take a goat around the country, you ask? “Goats make people happy,” Brown told The Star during a 2015 road trip.

Reactions on the bus last weekend suggest otherwise.

“Man, he trying to get on the bus?” one passenger said in the video as Brown boards. “Hell no.”

Brown did his best to assuage the passengers’ concerns, video shows, assuring them the animal is safe. Brown said he has a “service” goat because he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was young, MLive reports. He said it makes communication easier for him.

“I got service paperwork,” Brown told anxious bus riders, video shows.

That claim was met with skepticism.

“That’s a wild animal,” one woman said.

Others jumped up to stand on bus seats, apparently worried about getting anywhere near the animal.

“Man, I got to get home, ‘Walking Dead’ coming on tonight, dog,” another passenger yelled in frustration, as other passengers joined in the growing chorus urging Brown to get off.

Brown said the criticism was unfair.

“Everybody was complaining because they wanted to get to their home,” Brown told WJBK. “I was also trying to get home.”

After getting off the bus, Brown said he walked home with his goat. It was a 4-mile journey by foot, the TV station reports.

A spokeswoman for the city’s transportation department told MLive the driver did the right thing because the goat is not certified as a service animal.

“The driver will not face any punishment,” spokeswoman Nicole Simmons told MLive.

Brown told WJBK he has federal housing department paperwork for the goat that covers his living arrangement, though.

Not everyone was upset about the goat on the bus, though.

“Free ride,” one woman said gleefully, as the goat frenzy distracted the driver — allowing her to board without paying a fare.

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