Residents who live near the now-internet famous cow herd that corralled a suspect being chased by police believe they know what spurred the animals’ quick actions--they thought the suspect had food.
Glenn Wilson, who runs a welding shop across the street, believes the cows were tipped off to Jennifer Kaufman when they saw her running.
“They thought she had something to eat and she was running and they were running,” said Wilson.
Wilson likes to feed the cows and another resident, Dixie Butler, gave each cow a name. Sister, Patches and Rayban are just a few. She’s not sure which one started the chase.
“I’d go on the basis of personality. It was probably Patches. I don’t think (it was) Sister. Rayban it could very easily have been,” she said.
The Seminole County deputies who got an aerial view of the chase from the Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter said the incident was a first.
Pilot Chris Olortegui has to relay what he’s seeing from above for the recording.
“This was definitely a first for me and definitely had to hold my composure in between transmissions,” he said.
The chopper crew was following a stolen car with three suspects inside when the driver crashed near the cow pasture.
Kaufman jumped over the fence, ran through the field and when the cows saw her, they all began to chase her at once.
“I thought it was hilarious. I almost fell out of the helicopter,” said Cmdr. Stan Pruitt.
Kaufman and her two cohorts were arrested by Sanford police. She remains in jail on a probation violation. Police said she and the two other suspects were in a stolen car and drugs were found in the vehicle.
As for the crime-fighting cows, they are milking their newfound fame.
“You would be surprised at the people driving up and down this street every single day that didn’t know there were cows in there. Now, everybody wants to stop and feed them,” Wilson said.
Nearby resident Mark Congiardo said the bandit-busting bovines are fans of Spanish moss. He said he’s glad the cows could help out police.
“I thought about putting something on my door that says, ‘Caution: Guard cows on duty,’ or something like that,” he said.