May 19, 2009

N.J. cops round up about 30 escaped cows

Police in Central New Jersey said they were forced to play cowboys when more than 30 cows escaped from a dairy farm and wandered onto a highway.

Branchburg Police Sgt. Anthony DeMatteo said a rainstorm damaged a fence at the Norz Hill Farm, leading one cow to escape through the opening at about 8 a.m. Monday and about 30 others followed soon after, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

The cows found the hole and got out and decided to take a stroll through the neighborhood, DeMatteo said. He said the cows wandered through the woods and wound up on Route 22 while it was crowded during the morning commute.

They were good enough that they didn't get hit or cause any accidents, DeMatteo said.

DeMatteo said the bovines were rounded up and farmer Richard Norz fixed the fence. He joked that police decided against a punishment for the runaway cows.

The cows didn't get any tickets for jaywalking, he said. I think they took it in stride. We were flabbergasted. For the most part, they were very docile.

The sergeant was not the only police officer to find humor in the situation.

We've come up with everything you can think of, one officer said. This story is udder-ly ridiculous.