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A Winter Haven resident had the scare/surprise of his life after he investigated a loud noise at his home.

Leonard Vanderpool and his wife, Dawn, were watching TV when a crash in his backyard got his attention. What he found was probably the last thing he expected to be the source of the commotion.

“I come out and there’s a big hole in my screen, and there’s this big bullhead swimming in the water. It didn’t kill him or anything. He’s going crazy. The water was moving like crazy,” Vanderpool said.

Having no idea how the fish wound up plummeting from the sky, Vanderpool called the cops.

“The fish was swimming like crazy. We took ten minutes to get him out of the water. Then the policeman put him in a big bucket that I had. It just barely fit in there,” Vanderpool said.

The method for how the fish ended up in the pool became clear once the fish had been removed from the pool. Talon marks on the fish showed it had been dropped by a large bird.

“The fish probably stung it with its horns, because bullheads have horns, and he dropped it right through my screen,” Vanderpool said. “When we had it out you could see talon marks on its back.”

It’s incredible the fish managed to survive the incident at all, much less put up the fight it did to make its capture difficult. Officers took the fish and released it into nearby Lake Ruby.

“It didn’t seem like people would believe it. It is crazy.” said Dawn Vanderpool. “He had to take pictures because he knew they wouldn’t believe him back at the station.”

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