Brandon Pratt probably shouldn't give up his career with the California Highway Patrol to join the rodeo.
Pratt was trying to shoo an escaped cow off a rural Northern California highway when it "took offense," according to Bruce Thuelchassaigne, a spokesperson for CHP's Susanville office.
The roughly 2,000-pound bovine chased Pratt and quickly caught up with him, dealing him a "glancing blow" near his right shoulder, Thuelchassaigne said.
"The cow was pretty mad," he said. "It put its head down and went to throw him up in the air."
Dashcam footage of the Dec. 23 encounter shows the enormous animal running through a field and charging Pratt as he tries to flee.
Afterward, Pratt runs to the front of his patrol car and checks to see whether his assailant is still in pursuit. With no cow in sight, he heaves a sigh of relief.
It's hard to make out details in the grainy footage, but Thuelchassaigne said the cow's feet leave the ground as the animal lifts Pratt into the air.
Pratt wasn't seriously injured, which his colleagues think may be thanks to the bulletproof vest he was wearing.
Cattle and other large animals frequently break out of fences in the rural area around Susanville and pose a hazard to drivers, the CHP station said in a Facebook post.
Thuelchassaigne said the office easily fields four or five calls a week. Cattle ranching is one of the main industries in northeastern Lassen County, where Susanville is located.
"Most times, the cows behave and go back through the fence, but every once in a while, you get one that has attitude," Thuelchassaigne said.
Weighing 1,000 to 2,000 pounds each, the animals can cause significant damage to a car — or a person.
"You definitely don't want to get run over by a cow," he said.
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