Chipped beef: Carousing bull felled by dart

It's happened before, and it'll probably happen again: An animal escapes from the stockyards in downtown Hogwaller, aka lower Belmont. But this time, the escapee was a big bull.

"I'm no cowboy, but it looked to be a 1,200-pound Black Angus," says Charlottesville Police Sergeant Michael Farruggio, the investigating officer.

Farruggio says the escape began around 11pm on Saturday, September 27, when several bulls were together in a pen. "They got to carousing," says Farruggio, "and one of them opened the door."

A search through Belmont ended at 5am without success. Then, around 1:30pm Sunday, Farruggio says, a 911 call indicated the bull was on East Market Street in the Woolen Mills neighborhood. Five officers responded, along with the foreman at the stockyards. Phone calls left with the stockyards, officially known as the Charlottesville Livestock Market Inc., were not returned.

After about an hour and half of trailing the animal through streets and yards, the foreman fired two tranquilizing darts, and the bull stretched out on Chesapeake Street, Farruggio says, noting that the stockyard foreman then pulled up a trailer and hoisted the sleeping bull into it.

"By the time we got him in the trailer," says Farruggio, "he woke up and was not in a good mood." After that, the foreman and his quarry "rode off into the sunset," says Farruggio, "and that's no bull."

The tranquilizer begins to kick in.


Cops throng 18th Street.