The novel begins with Dana Matherson the school bully ( "smoking and beating up smaller kids were his two main hobbies" ) catching hold of Roy's head and smashing it against the school bus window.Following are the references to the physical violence inflicted on Roy by Dana Matherson:
1. Dana "grabbed Roy's head from behind and pressed his thumbs into into Roy's temple as though he were squeezing a soccerball."
2. "When Roy tried to writggle free Dana mushed his face against the window."
3. "Dana Matherson still had him from behind, pushing his face against the window."
4. "Dana Matherson was digging his fingernails into Roy's scalp trying to make him squeal, but Roy barely felt a thing."
This incident is the 'initial incident' of the plot of "Hoot." It is this incident which forces Roy to take notice of "Mullet Fingers" who runs alongside the school bus: "who was he, what was he running from?" Roy is so engrossed in seeing the the "strange boy" run so fast - faster than even his best friend Richard back in Montana - that he doesn't feel the pain that Dana is inflicting on him.