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“The bull did nothing wrong,” Rice said. “It was a freak accident.”
At a show Aug. 2 at the Washington County Fair, another bull escaped briefly when a bull rider got upset after being bucked off and neglected to secure the animal’s gate. The bull shagger had that bull roped and back in the pen in “20, maybe 30 seconds,” Rice said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Joe Leko, the fair’s chief for the week, said when Regis fired on the bull, “he was basically trying to save his own life — and others actually.”
“It was chaotic,” Leko said. “I’d like to say organized chaos, but it wasn’t.”
Regis said he knew the bullets he fired would go into the ground if they didn’t hit the bull. He insisted on seeing the bull after it was caught Wednesday night, and said he saw what appeared to be a .40-caliber bullet wound on the back of its neck.
VanDerGeest said the bull had a scrape on the back of the neck but he didn’t know whether it was from a bullet.
“My son said we should have kept him and called him Bullet,” he said.
Was the bull dangerous?
“No,” VanDerGeest said. “He was dangerous running down the midway. Any animal is.”
Had he known that, in the end, no one was seriously injured, VanDerGeest said, he probably wouldn’t have had the bull killed.
“But that’s what I decided to do,” he said. “It’s done, so let’s move on.”
Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284