Bunnyman Killed on Copeland Ranch03/27/2008
By C Hinkel
A joyous Easter celebration in Newark, Texas, turned gloomy last Friday when an unemployed Mexican illegal alien dressed as a giant rabbit was inadvertently massacred by rednecks on Kenneth Copeland's property.
On Friday afternoon the members of Eagle Mountain International Church threw an Easter egg hunt for their pastors, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, but instead of hiding chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies, parishioners hid envelopes stuffed with hundred-dollar bills, diamond jewelry, and the keys to a Porsche, a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini.
This lovely gesture came as a surprise to the televangelist couple, who had just returned from a ministry trip to Tahiti where they were preaching on one of the remote unoccupied islands. As soon as they stepped off the jet and onto their college-campus-sized front lawn, the entire church ran to greet them, shouting, “The Bible says if you seek, you will find! So find, pastors, find!"
At first the Copelands didn't know what was going on and had several dozen of the church members roughed up by security guards and immobilized with flex-cuffs. But once the couple realized that there had been no unauthorized breach of the security perimeter, they broke into broad grins, put away their sidearms, and embraced each of the handcuffed faithful.
"Our little flock," Gloria said, her eyes welling with tears, "this is just beautiful."
Ultimately, Gloria alone found more than $100,000 in unmarked bills, several pearl necklaces, three sets of diamond earrings, and the keys to the Ferrari. Kenneth pretended to be jealous, but he did even better, acquiring more than $170,000, two Rolex watches, two diamond rings, the keys to both the Lamborghini and the Porsche, and a lifetime membership to an Oahu country club, complete with the services of a native Hawaiian caddy.
Unfortunately, the hunt was not quite over when a man dressed in a bunny costume was inadvertently shot by the Copelands' neighbor, Bobby John Hippuk.
The man, Jesus Gomez, a circus clown by trade, had been hired to skip around the property and infuse “the Easter spirit” as the Copelands filled their custom Easter baskets. Gomez, who was only 5’2” tall, apparently wandered a ways off the parsonage grounds, looking for offering envelopes that the Copelands might have overlooked.
“We’re just poor people," Albertina Gomez, Jesus’ wife, told police. “We just got an eviction notice yesterday, and this week we haven’t even been able to buy food for our family. Jesus was an honest man, but desperation probably got the better of him.”
The shooting was ruled accidental by the local justice of the peace after Hippuk explained that he was out hunting jackrabbits at the time and thought Gomez was simply a very big prize.
“Well, we are in Texas, after all,” said Tarrant County Sheriff Theodore Bikel.
Funeral services for Gomez will be held Tuesday at Newark’s Faith Baptist Church.
Although Copeland expressed “regret” at the incident in a press release, he ruled out a donation to the Gomez family. “They don’t pay their tithes to EMIC,” Copeland said. “However, we agreed to pay the full fee that Mr. Gomez would have earned for impersonating the rabbit for the entire day, even though he was killed two hours before his shift was over. We thought it was the Christian thing to do.”