The Rooster Man is coming to the Hill District to help it with its rooster problem.
Neighbors know the rooster. They hear him. Some feed him.
Drive around the neighborhood, and they’ll point you to the intersection of Wylie Avenue and Roberts Street to try to catch a glimpse of him. Neighborhood kids call him Rudy.
But it’s his early morning wake up calls — and the fact that roosters aren’t allowed in the city — that have landed Henry Gaston in court four times. He was told in late September that he had 30 days to catch the bird.
“As soon as I go to approach him, he runs,” Gaston told District Judge Oscar Petite Jr. on Wednesday.
But, Gaston said, he talked to someone Tuesday from St. Louis, who could catch him.
Enter: The Rooster Man.
Frank Cantone aka The Rooster Man had called city housing inspector Roberta Bullock and Petite’s office, too. The judge seemed skeptical.
He asked Gaston for the rooster man’s phone number and called him on speaker phone from the courtroom.
Four rings. No answer.
Now what? Another chance? Petite wanted to close the case.
Then, the courtroom phone rang.
It was Cantone.
“I run a chicken rescue in Missouri,” he told the court.
St. Louis Chicken Rescue to be exact. It’s a nonprofit that rescues the birds, cares for them (they have a veterinarian on staff) and re-homes them.
Cantone heard about the Hill District rooster in the news. Who hasn’t? (WTAE talked to people last month who fell into several categories: “likes the rooster,” “loves the rooster” and “does not love the rooster.”)