As we joined family and friends for our holiday celebrations, the local media seemed to have missed what could be the strangest and yet most intriguing story of 2011.
'Twas was the (day) before Christmas, when all through the (town). Not a creature was stirring, except for a…bull?
That’s right. Around 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a 780-pound bull got loose from his owner’s farm near the Quaker Farms section of town and led residents, police and firefighters on a wild chase that lasted about two hours, police said.
The bull originally made its way to and ran toward Captain Wooster Road and then Route 188, said Oxford Resident Trooper Dan Semosky, recalling the wild incident in which little Oxford looked like Pamplona, Spain for a day.
The bull ran to O’Neill Road toward , where Semosky said parishioners could be seen lining the windows to catch a glimpse of the running of the bull.
“It was one of the most bizarre events I can remember,” Semosky said. “That bull was 780 pounds! If he wants to get out and get going, there is very little you are going to do to pull him back. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt.”
The owner’s friends attempted to help, and one of them struck a police cruiser with his car after he pulled up behind the officer and forgot to put the car in park, Semosky said. And firefighter Joe Calabrese, former first selectman candidate and aide to former First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers, was clipped on the hand by a car as he closed off a street to keep commuters away from the chase, Semosky said. Calabrese was not injured, and the trooper was taken to a hospital for evaluation but also was OK, Semosky said. Police cited both drivers.
Meanwhile, the owner continued to chase the bull with a flock of at least 10 people; the owner continuously tried to lasso the animal, but it kept slipping away, Semosky said.
Finally, it appeared the chase was over when the owner cornered his animal and tried to tie him to the push bumper of a state police cruiser, Semosky said. But once again, the massive animal got away and ripped the push bumper off the car, he said.
A little while later - about two hours after the bull got loose - the chasers finally cornered the animal and tied him to a pole, Semosky said.
The reason the story has yet to be reported in mainstream local media - that we know of - is probably because most local reporters, including myself, were on vacation for the week. And there was no press report released on the incident.
“This is something that if you tried to write a full report on it, you’d be writing a novel,” Semosky said. “But we are investigating it. We are following up now to see how the owner is going to pay for the damage to the police cars, and we’re following up with animal control.”
Editor's Note: Joe Calabrese clarified that he was struck by a car on the hand and that the car was not going slow. We have since updated the story.