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Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2013

Pair on the lam in Oregon back home with tails between legs

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Oregon Assistant Police Chief Paul Magdich has the donkey in custody while Kathy Holter of Oregon, owner of the animals, takes charge of the horse. Oregon Assistant Police Chief Paul Magdich has the donkey in custody while Kathy Holter of Oregon, owner of the animals, takes charge of the horse.
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The suspects were in sight.

Both of them running through a North Lallendorf Road field, headed for Corduroy Road.

If they reached Corduroy, there’s no telling what might happen.

“It wasn’t long after somebody called that we headed them off at the pass,” Oregon police Detective Janet Zale said.

The runaway horse and donkey were, within minutes, in custody.

A third-party caller reported the animals, who escaped from 604 N. Lallendorf, running through the field at 12:06 p.m. Tuesday.

The detective heard the call and got some help from Assistant Chief Paul Magdich, who went with her to the scene.

“I said, ‘Let's go out there and see if we can help [pick] them up,’ ” she said.

Nine minutes later, the mad dash for freedom was thwarted, and the partners in crime— Ali, a 20-year-old horse, and Dillon, a 15-year-old miniature donkey — were on their way back home.

Kathy Holter, who owns the animals, took the horse’s reins while Assistant Chief Magdich led the donkey back to the fenced-in yard from which they escaped.

“They were fine,” Detective Zale said. “They gave up easily; they didn't resist.”

Although neither suspect physically resisted, the horse had a few choice “words” for the police, the detective said.

“There were some verbal complaints,” she said. “I think he was just mad at his mom, getting mouthy.”

As the investigation continued, police determined that the donkey was the instigator, coercing the horse to be an accomplice, to make a run for a gate left open by the owner's son, the detective said.

“It was the donkey that caused the trouble,” Detective Zale said.

Complicating the investigation was a lack of cooperating witnesses.

Numerous goats were at the scene, but they refused to make any statements.

“Baaahh,” they told the detective and assistant chief.

This isn’t the first time Detective Zale has had to restore order for on-the-run animals. Once, on third shift, a horse escaped and it took several police to get him under control. “It was like, ‘Yeehaww!’ Detective Zale said.

No charges were filed in the Tuesday afternoon incident, but the suspects “were let go with a stern warning.”

Dillon and Ali were behaving Tuesday night, Ms. Holter said. Though it’s anyone’s guess how long that might last.

“They’re behaving, but I’m sure they’ll be testing the gate,” she said.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.



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