ST. PAUL (AP) -- The city of Oakdale will not bill the farmer whose three pregnant cattle were chased by police and a volunteer search-and-rescue squad for more than 24 hours after escaping a trailer, city officials said.
Mark Thompson's three pregnant Charolais cattle escaped in January when Thompson's trailer hit a pothole on Interstate 694, jarring the door loose. The cows evaded authorities, citizens and media through an Oakdale housing development, which the city said cost it $2,657.26.
At the time, the city said it would bill Thompson for the incident. Thompson's insurance company refused to pay it, so the city tried to collect from him. But when Thompson said he would slaughter the former fugitive purebred Charolais to pay his bill, the city backed down.
"Why would we go through the effort of capturing them to turn around and have them slaughtered?" said Oakdale administrator Craig Waldron.
Thompson agreed to pay about $313 for the outside help, including a University of Minnesota veterinarian and a local elk farmer who tranquilized the cattle.
Oakdale Mayor Carmen Sarrack said he didn't mind eating the public safety costs.
"That's one of the things police and fire are there for," Sarrack said. "We are not going to have blood on our hands over this. I'd rather go to Mr. Steak."
Thompson called the $313 "no big deal," and said the cows are doing well. "They're not going to be slaughtered. They're going to have their babies."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.