It was Hensley’ job to care for the swans at the Bay Colony Drive apartment complex near Des Plaines, but Saturday morning something went wrong, and there was an altercation with at least one of the large birds.
“They probably thought that he was going too close to their eggs, and they were too scared, and they just attacked him,” eyewitness Daniel Gamanov said.
He was awakened by a witness pounding on his apartment window, screaming for someone to call police. By the time he looked out, he could see the kayak, but could see no sign of Hensley.
Witnesses said Hensley came up at least once after his kayak tipped in the pond, but by the time police finally pulled him out of the water, more than a half hour had passed.
An autopsy Sunday afternoon determined Hensley drowned.
According to his father, Hensley was a good swimmer, but he ended up in the water while fully clothed and wearing boots. To make the situation worse, police said the swans continued to swim at Hensley as he tried to make it to shore.
His two daughters are so young, they have yet to be told their daddy never made it home from work.
His father, Raymond Hensley, said “They’re too young. They just know their father is not here, and they don’t know why. It’s tragic for him to have to spend the last few moments like that. That’s always my worst fear, drowning.”
Anthony Hensley’s wife of four years was too distraught to talk about her loss, so her brother spoke for her.
“He’s my brother-in-law, and I’m going to miss him,” Tony Macri said.
He also spoke of how his sister and nieces are now without a bread-winner, and without a secure future.
If you would like to help out the Hensley family, donations are being accepted in lieu of flowers:
c/o Steuerle Funeral Home
350 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181