CHP of­fi­cer wins bat­tle of bull run

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Joseph Serna joseph.serna@latimes.com

The man called the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol to re­port a real prob­lem, no bull, so to speak.

His bull had es­caped Tues­day and bro­ken through three fences. The man was afraid it might have wan­dered onto the 101 Free­way in Buell­ton.

This was no reg­u­lar bull, warned the man, who lived in the rolling hills north of Jonata Park Road off the free­way. The bull weighed up to 2,500 pounds and was so an­gry and mean that its owner wanted the CHP to kill it, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

“For what­ever rea­son, this thing was se­verely ag­i­tated,” said CHP Of­fi­cer John Ortega. “The ranch peo­ple that were on scene, it had charged at them.”

“The bull had been act­ing ag­gres­sively all morn­ing,” the CHP said in a state­ment. “The owner re­quested that the bull be dis­patched due to its ag­gres­sive na­ture and prox­im­ity to the road­way.”

The CHP ran a traf­fic break on the high­way, pre­vent­ing driv­ers from get­ting in the bull’s path, while one of­fi­cer trekked up the hill with the prop­erty owner to find the bull.

He spot­ted it on a hill above the 101 Free­way. The of­fi­cer aimed and fired. The bull went down, but not for long. As the of­fi­cer got close to con­firm the kill, the bull sprang up and charged — knock­ing the of­fi­cer down the hill­side, the CHP said.

Then bull bolted onto the free­way as the of­fi­cer re­cov­ered.

“It was a very large an­i­mal,” Ortega said. “Ba­si­cally out of con­trol and run­ning along the free­way’s shoul­ders and in and out of traf­fic lanes.” As the bull stomped in the north­bound lanes, the of­fi­cer fired again. This time the bull was down for good.

The dead an­i­mal was re­moved, and traf­fic re­sumed. The of­fi­cer was taken to Santa Ynez Val­ley Cot­tage Hos­pi­tal and treated for in­juries that were not life- threat­en­ing.

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