CHP officer vs. bull in Buellton. Bull almost wins

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

His bull had escaped on Tuesday afternoon and broke through three fences. The man was afraid it might have wandered onto U.S. Highway 101 in Buellton.

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

“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. 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. 

“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.”

“It was a very large animal," he added. "Basically out of control and running along the freeways shoulders and in and out of traffic lanes."

As the bull stomped in the northbound lanes, the officer fired again. His shots were on the mark, and this time the bull was down for good.

It was removed from the empty lanes and traffic resumed. The officer was taken to Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

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