An animal rights campaigner was forced to abandon a protest outside KFC when he was punched, rugby tackled and pelted with poultry – while dressed as a giant CHICKEN.
Determined Olly Tyler arrived at his local branch dressed in a bespoke £600 costume and planned to wave a placard outside for two days in a bid to deter customers.
But within hours his feathers were ruffled when diners began hurling sachets of sauce, chicken wings and nuggets at him.
The final straw came when one diner punched him in the head and two men jumped from their car and RUGBY TACKLED him to the ground.
Olly, 16, who did not suffer any injuries thanks to his 7ft tall chicken suit, was so shaken he has vowed not to return to the KFC in Trowbridge, Wilts.
He said: “I was standing on a grass island outside the KFC so I was completely exposed. It was quite hard to see where the attacks were coming from because of the suit.
“I’ve protested outside this KFC before and I was pelted with three chicken wings but this time it was much worse.
“People threw sauce and chicken wings at me as well as chicken nuggets. When I left the ground was covered in them.
“One guy punched me in the head. It didn’t hurt but I was really shocked. Twenty minutes later, two guys got out of their car and rugby tackled me to the ground.
“I have no idea why they did it. I think they just got caught in the hype.”
Olly, from Westwood, Wilts., was given money from relatives after doing well in his GCSEs and used it to buy a #600 chicken suit, which was handmade in Paris.
The teenager, who has won an award for his work from PETA, decided to protest outside KFC after reading an article claiming the factory hens are kept in horrific conditions.
He stood outside the restaurant on Spitfire Retail Park on October 12 and spent seven hours receiving a “positive reaction” from passers-by.
Olly decided to return to make his stand on December 22 and 23 and planned to spend at least seven hours outside the fast food joint on both days.
He added: “I arrived at 10am and the KFC workers were already outside. They are never that nice to me but they don’t do anything.
“The KFC is next to a McDonald’s and they are lovely in there, they came out and offered me a meal but I had to turn it down because I’m a vegetarian.
“Most people were nice, they were beeping and waving at me but then it became dangerous.
“I wanted to spend all day there but I left by 2.45pm because I was worried for my safety. The area has no CCTV and I felt really vulnerable.
“I decided not to return the next day. When you are in a chicken costume you can’t do anything to defend yourself.”
Olly is currently supporting Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign and plans to protest in Bristol and Bath in the future.
A spokesman for KFC insisted: “At KFC, we are committed to poultry welfare and we use only reputable suppliers, that are the same as the UK’s leading supermarkets and restaurants, which meet or exceed UK and EU regulations on quality and welfare.”
Supportive locals commended the bravery of Olly Tyler and claimed the KFC site was “trouble from the start”.
Graham Payne, 66, has been a councillor of Trowbridge’s Drynham ward for 37 years, and claims he has had more complaints about the site than anything else.
He said: “There are a lot of people complaining about litter as KFC and McDonalds do produce a heck of a lot of it.
“It is chucked out of car windows as people drive away, or just thrown on the ground. I have received more complaints about that site than anywhere else in my ward.
“People are upset about boy racers who go and do donuts in the car park, cars revving loudly, anti social behaviour and litter.
“The local population are very upset.”
He described Olly, who won a Compassionate Teen Award from PETA for his KFC work, as “very brave”.
The retired lift inspector added: “I think he is a very brave lad. I don’t think people take much notice of what he is doing but he is obviously passionate about what he believes in.
“Fair play to the lad, I say. Most people think KFC is KFC, they have tried to reassure everyone about their methods.
“I do feel really sorry for the lad because of the way he was physically abused.”