Look, wrangling a bunch of escaped cows isn't easy. That's a given. But as 58-year-old Thomas David Humphrey of Prosser recently found out the hard way, that's no excuse for using your van to run the unruly beasts over.
As the Herald notes, yesterday Humphrey was sentenced to five days in jail (or work crew duties), in addition to a two-year deferred sentence - during which time Humphrey is barred from owning animals. The conviction can be removed from Humphrey's record if he commits no new crimes during his two years of probation and pays all court fines.
According to charging documents filed in the case, Humphrey's troubles began when his six cows escaped on June 10, 2011. Police responded to the disturbance call near the city's spray field on Bettinson road, where they encountered Humphrey and his erratically driving van, which police reported to be spinning around wildly at times and throwing debris from its tires.
Because corralling loose cattle with your van ain't easy.
Laughs aside, however, the situation was a serious one because a pair of city employees reported that Humphrey was hitting the cows with the front of his van as part of his wrangling efforts, and even became high centered at one point on top of one of the loose animals. Charging documents indicate the cow Humphrey became high centered on was unable to walk due to injuries to its back legs, and two other cows were run down and did not get back up. Sadly, the injured animals had to be euthanized.
From charging documents, referencing the statements of the two city employees:
They advised that it appeared to them that the van had cut the fence and drove through it and past a clearly posted "No Trespassing" sing. The injured cows were unable to walk, appeared to be in great pain and were subsequently euthanized. The defendant gave a statement and denied intentionally hitting the cows. He said he was trying to herd them.
Find charging documents filed against Thompson on the next page.
Charging documents filed against Thomas David Humphrey, who plead guilty yesterday to second-degree animal cruelty in Benton County Superior Court yesterday: