Police Track and Capture Ram on the Run in Des Moines


Workers at the central power plant for the Capitol complex in Des Moines tackle a wayward Navajo-Churro ram on Friday, November 30, 2012. A Navajo-Churro ram, being transported from Creston by Travis Brogden to Cedar Rapids, jumped out of its trailer near the Iowa Capitol Friday morning leading capitol workers, Animal Rescue League officials, Capitol troopers, Des Moines Police and Animal Control officers on an hour long chase around the capitol complex until it was caught by contractors and others at the central power plant south of the Capitol Building.(Rodney White/The Des Moines Register)


By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa - Des Moines police had a busy morning tracking down a loose ram.

A caller first spotted the wayward black sheep at 6th Street and Indiana Avenue. More callers spotted the ram on Second Avenue near Interstate 235. From there, the ram led police on a chase south to East Court Avenue.

Police tried to corral the ram several times, but the animal tried ramming police squad cars.

Des Moines Police Chief Humane Officer Jim Butler said he’s never seen anything like it.

“Several other officers decided they want to go see this big horned sheep, which some of us refer to as a ram. They wanted to go see if this was really the case, and if this was really the animal that was roaming the streets of Des Moines,” said Butler.

About that time, Amanda Lundberg was parking her car in the East Village.

“There's four different cop cars that are trying to circle it and then another one pulled up. He's like, 'Did you see which way it went?'” said Lundberg.

She grabbed her phone for an only-in-Iowa shot.

“So I tried to step in front of it and a police guy shouted at me, he goes, 'Don't get too close to it because it's going to head butt you!' I was like ‘oh’, so I backed up. But I still got a photo,” said Lundberg.

It kept running toward the statehouse, eluding the law.

“Due to the size of the animal, close to 150, 160 pounds, it's not one of those things you just run up and you grab ahold of. It doesn't have a leash on it,” said Butler.

Near the state judicial building, several guys grabbed its horns, wrestling it into custody.

Police eventually tracked the ram to a Des Moines homeowner who was keeping the ram for a friend.

Police said that homeowner was cited for having an animal that large. The owner agreed to move the ram out of town.
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