If you are a homeowner, at some point, you have probably had to deal with bugs of one kind or another around the house. Sprays or traps usually take care of the problem.
However, at the Nueces County Courthouse, there is another kind of infestation: bats.
"This morning, I walked in and came into this hallway," Court Reporter Sarah Rivera said, "and I'm walking this way and I see this thing hanging. I figured it was a bat and I ran. I ran to my office, because I was a little worried about the whole rabies situation, if there was one."
There have always been stories of encounters with bats at the Nueces County Courthouse, but on Thursday they seemed to flourish.
The whole bat issue really took flight when they made their presence known, right in the grand jury room on the fourth flour.
"I went in to swear in my grand jury, swear them into office," said Angelica Hernandez, 105th District Court Judge.
Hernandez first noticed what appeared to be rat droppings all over the grand jury tables and on the floor. So she cleared out the room.
"After I had everybody cleared out so that we could disinfect and get everything cleaned up, and there coming outside one of the light vents was, I couldn't tell what it was, but it was alive. It was moving," Hernandez said. "It looked like a head."
Moments later, it was a confirmed to be a bat. In fact, a picture was snapped by one of the prosecutors.
"It was alive, and it was absolutely disgusting and unacceptable," Hernandez said.
Vector Control was called out, along with clean up crews. The county's Animal Control staff came in and scooped up three or four bats.
Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal said that Thursday's encounter was addressed quickly, and apologies were made to the grand jurors for the inconvenience; but the problem isn't totally solved.
"We have had some external problems with the bats nesting around the courthouse," Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal said. "We're trying to find where they're really coming in. They're really small and when it's cold, they'll find a way in where it's warm. Yes, we did we get on top of it as quickly as we knew about the problem."
So while Thursday's round of bat visitors have been cleared out, chances are the bat sightings could continue.
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