Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18067
Classification: Vehicular
Animal: cow
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Friday, Jun 10, 2011

County: Benton

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Thomas David Humphrey

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Prosser man's attempt to corral his half-dozen cows ended with him being arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of trespassing, malicious mischief and animal cruelty, according to a news release from the Prosser Police Department.

The 57-year-old man arrived at his home on the outskirts of Prosser to find that his cows had gotten out of his field and wandered onto adjacent city property, Officer Mark Cole said. He decided to use his van to try to herd them home.

But someone called the police department to report that the man was going through the fence to the city property, the former wastewater spray field, and running over the cows.

Cole said he first thought that the incident might have involved something serious like a drug user on a rampage, but he arrived to find a frustrated cow owner. The 14-year officer said it was the first time in his career that he had encountered such a thing.

Two of the cows suffered broken legs and had to be euthanized, Cole said. The fire department was called out to help return the surviving cows to the man's property.

"The suspect's van was also damaged in the melee of cow herding," Cole wrote in the news release.

Police suspect that the man ran over the city fence to enter the spray field.

Prosecutors will decide whether the case warrants charges. The man was released in the meantime.

Case Updates

A 57-year-old Prosser man claimed he was trying to herd his cows that had wandered onto city property when his van hit at least three of them.

Thomas David Humphrey pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree animal cruelty and reckless driving. His trial is Oct. 17.

Prosser police were called June 10 for reports of a disturbance in the city's spray field on Bettinson Road.

Witnesses reported that a man in a white van was trespassing, chasing and hitting cows with his van, court documents said.

Officers found Humphrey "driving extremely recklessly" and said that the van appeared to be out of control at times as it spun around, raising dust and throwing debris from its tires, documents said.

Two city employees reported that Humphrey was hitting the cows with the van, and at one point the vehicle became high centered on top of a cow, documents said.

Eventually the cow was able to get up and tried to run away, but was unable to go far because of its injured legs, witnesses told police.

Humphrey allegedly continued recklessly chasing other cows until the van hit two more. Both didn't get up.

Humphrey denied intentionally hitting the cows, court documents said.

The injured animals "were unable to walk, appeared to be in great pain and were subsequently euthanized," said Deputy Prosecutor Christine Bennett in documents.
Source: - Aug 12, 2011
Update posted on Aug 12, 2011 - 2:18PM 


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