Police in the town of Boone, in the western part of the state, pulled the suspect over during a routine traffic stop. The suspect fled the scene, and police were unable to track him down. Fortunately, the cattle were not pleased to have the suspect in their pasture and led police directly to him.
Police recounted the incident in a news release on their Facebook page. On May 9, police pulled the suspect over as part of a routine traffic stop. The suspect fled and led Boone police and Watauga County Sheriff’s deputies on a street chase. The suspect was driving erratically, so police could not get close to him. The suspect pulled off the highway near an intersection in nearby Deep Gap and fled into undeveloped land.
It was then that the cows came in. “Apparently cows do not want suspected criminals loitering in their pasture and quickly assisted our officers by leading them directly to where the suspect was hiding,” the release said. “The cows communicated with the officers as best they could and finally just had the officers follow them to the suspect’s location.”
The suspect was charged with 1 count of Felony Fleeing/Eluding Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, Driving with a Revoked License, and Disorderly Conduct. A $20,000 bond was set ahead of his court date. The press release thanked the officers, and the cows, for their assistance.
“This opens up all kinds of questions as to the bovines’ role in crime fighting,” police joked. “Honestly, it is something that we have not considered before now. As we examine the obvious next steps of incorporating a Bovine Tracking Unit into our department’s law enforcement capabilities there are many factors that we will have to consider:
• How adaptable are cows to a variety of police work or can they just find hiding suspects?
• Are cows more cost-effective than K-9 dogs?
• How will we transport cows to the scenes, and is this compatible with the Town’s sustainability goals in terms of types of vehicles needed and, obviously, are there methane issues?
• Cost of training, vet care, ballistic vests, etc.?”
“We at the Boone Police Department are always looking for better ways to serve our community,” the release concluded. “We may be a small town; but we are a progressive, forward-thinking law enforcement agency. For rural law enforcement, we want to be the tip of the spear.”
Also this week, police in rural Oklahoma responded to what sounded like cries for help, only to find that the cries were coming from a very upset goat. Body cam footage included with a Facebook post showed two officers responding to what they believed were human cries. “I think that’s a person,” one of the officers says. “That’s a person,” the officer repeats. In the distance, a sound that appears to be someone shouting can be heard; the officers run toward the sound. “It’s a goat,” the officer in front says. The two officers run through some trees and come upon the farm, where the goat can be heard bleating discontentedly, in a way that sounds like “help.” “Aww, it is,” the officer laughs.
The officers walk up to the farmer and explain the situation. “We didn’t know if it was an animal or a person,” the officer says through laughter. “But sure enough, we were walking over here and I’m like, ‘that’s a person.’ From long distance it sounds like ‘help.’”