Census Workers Have Been Attacked By Animals 24 Times, Assaulted 88 Times

There were 409 threats or assaults on Census workers making home visits between May and last Friday, 24 of which were animal attacks and 13 of which involved shots fired, according to data given to TPMmuckraker by the Census Bureau.

The Washington Post had a good story Sunday looking at the hazards of Census work. The paper noted that this year has seen more than double the 181 incidents reported last time around, in 2000.Census Spokeswoman Shelly Lowe tells us in an email that the jump “is due in part to an increase in households and a more rigorous tracking system.”

Here’s the breakdown of the 409 incidents so far:

* In 10 cases the Census worker was robbed, carjacked, or held against his or her will.

* In 13 cases shots were fired.

* There were 24 animal attacks or threats.

* There were 101 verbal assaults or threats.

* In 132 cases a weapon was pulled or use of a weapon was threatened.

* There were 88 physical assaults.

As the *Post* [reports](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/19/AR2010061901896_pf.html), some of these incidents can be attributed to anti-government sentiment:

Sherri Chesney, 46, said she was cursed and spat at during follow-up visits in Houston. One day, she encountered a woman working in her garden. Chesney showed her census badge, she said, prompting the woman to launch into a tirade: “I don’t need the blankety-blank government snooping in my business.” Then she threw a metal patio table at Chesney, who escaped injury by ducking.

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