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Headless Chicken Not So Lucky

By Joanna Miller in News on Mar 8, 2006 7:34PM

Chicago drivers need all the luck they can get. So it's understandable that when Jose A. Cruz, 25, set out to drive from Elmhurst to his home in Sweetwater, Fla., he tried to bring along some good luck. Only instead of rubbing a rabbit's foot, he beheaded a live chicken and tossed its still-flapping body out of his car window.

Unluckily, an Elmhurst cop watched him do it. Cruz was arrested, but not for killing the chicken. Apparently, decapitation is a humane way to kill a bird and, thus, not a crime. Instead, he was charged with littering. He pleaded guilty last Thursday and may have to pay a fine.

According to the Elmhurst police, Cruz practices Santeria and killed the bird as part of a ritual sacrifice. Also known as Lukumi, Santeria is an African-based religion that originated in Cuba. Chicago has a growing population of Santeria followers, including White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. The Sox skipper identifies himself as a Roman Catholic, but he is also a babalowa, a leader in the Santeria faith.

No word on whether or not he's got a crystal ball or, if he had a million dollars, he would spend it all. Oh, wait. Nevermind.