A man who planned to celebrate the New Year by sacrificing a goat with a machete has been arrested.
Hunter Goldberg, 23, was caught after being reported to police by a goat-owner who became suspicious after he phoned her to ask if he could buy her animal.
He later admitted that he had been planning to steal the goat and kill it, and said that he had already sacrificed an animal a few weeks earlier.
Goldberg’s father explained his son’s behaviour by comparing him to William the Conqueror, the mediaeval king from whom the family claims to be descended.
Oregon State Police were first alerted to Goldberg’s macabre plan when a woman told an off-duty officer about a strange phone call she had received asking if she had any goats for sale.
Although the woman does own a goat, she does not sell them.
Goldberg, from Roseburg, Oregon, was later found on New Year’s Eve, waiting in a car near the woman’s home.
He confessed that he had hoped to steal a goat from her and sacrifice it before the New Year, but claimed that he was in the process of writing the woman an apology note.
Police later found the remains of the dead animal, and upon searching Goldberg’s car they discovered two machetes.
His father, Josiah Goldberg, told Seattle Weekly that his son could yet grow up to be a high achiever – just like the 11th-century King of England William the Conqueror, whom Mr Goldberg says is an ancestor of his.
‘Before William the Conqueror was William the Conqueror, he was called William the Bastard. It was later in life that he became great,’ he said.
‘Hunter is a nice boy. He’s going through a difficult period in his life. Hopefully 20 years from now he’ll be doing something worthwhile.’
He added: ‘One has to have a historical perspective. It’s unfortunate that this is happening with my son. But a goat is just meat.’
Goldberg was arrested and booked into the Douglas County Jail for investigation of aggravated animal abuse, trespassing and conspiracy, according to the police.
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