No bull. Five years — to the day — after a 780-pound steer’s memorable escape attempt captivated onlookers in West Baltimore, two more made a mad dash for freedom Thursday that ended when they were corralled in the lawn of a nearby apartment complex.
The steers, which made their way to a gated lawn at the Penn Square apartment building across the street before being loaded onto a truck and hauled away, are at least the fifth and sixth, respectively, to make a run for freedom in the area since 2014.
The animals were reported to police about 12:48 p.m. near the intersection of North and Pennsylvania avenues, according to Detective Chakia Fennoy, a police spokeswoman. They were corralled into a truck and hauled away about a half-hour later.
A call to George G. Ruppersberger & Sons, the slaughterhouse at 2639 Pennsylvania Ave., across the street from the apartment complex, went to voicemail, then was disconnected.
A representative who answered the phone at Old Line Custom Meat Co., the parent company that was formed after a merger between George G. Ruppersberger & Sons and Roseda Beef, declined to comment.
A previous pair that got loose in July 2016 found themselves in the same apartment complex, where they were corralled by Old Line workers in a two-hour operation.
In 2014, the steer headed for slaughter leaped a barbed-wire fence and took a 2-mile walk along North Avenue before being gunned down by police in Mid-Town Belvedere.
Medina Gaither, a neighbor who moved into a Penn Square apartment in December, was taking out the trash Thursday afternoon when a neighbor pointed out the animals behind the complex.
She still remembers watching in disbelief from an MTA bus on her way to work when the steer trotted down North Avenue in 2014. The repeated animal escapes call into question the effectiveness of the slaughterhouse’s security measures, Gaither said. She said it was lucky no children were playing on the apartment complex’s nearby playground when the animals arrived.
“This should never have happened,” she said. “You’re jeopardizing a community of people. Why couldn’t you detain this animal? They need to shut that slaughterhouse down … or relocate it and be more secure. They need to move this out of the city and further in the county.”