A 1,400-pound bull broke free from a trailer at a bullfight on Sunday, ran a quarter mile through busy streets, knocked over a motorcyclist and gored a police officer before it was shot dead by authorities.
A bystander helped rescue the injured officer by pulling his car between him and the bull, Lowell police spokesman Patrick Cook said.
The officer was in good condition Sunday night after having an operation at Lowell General Hospital, a nursing supervisor said.
Another person was injured by another bull at the event, an annual Portuguese festival attended by several hundred people. Police later shut down the festival in this city of about 103,000 people, 22 miles northwest of Boston.
The trouble began at 2:30 p.m. when the bull broke free from a trailer at the compound of the Holy Ghost Society, which holds the annual fights under a rodeo permit, Cook said. Unlike their Spanish counterparts, Portuguese bullfighters do not kill the animals.
Officer Kenneth Shaw, who was patrolling the festival, chased the bull through a parking lot, down a side street and across busy Route 38, which is lined with fast-food restaurants.
Robert Sutton, a gas station attendant, said he saw the bull run by on Route 38.
“It was a black bull just trotting up the street. There were about 25 people trying to catch it,” he said.
Shaw fired several shots at the bull, which knocked over a motorcyclist, Cook said.
Cornered in a vacant lot, the bull then turned on Shaw and gored him through the thigh and knee, flipping him through the air.
At that moment, bystander Paul Bizzeria pulled his car between Shaw and the bull, Cook said. Two other officers arrived and shot the bull.
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