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One Child and Two Men Attacked by Aggressive Cow Loose in Neighborhood

By Echo Menges

Memphis, MO – Wednesday, September 21, 2022 – The citizens of Memphis are reeling after three community members were unexpectedly attacked by an aggressive cow Tuesday afternoon, September 20.

The animal reportedly became aggressive in the sale ring at the Memphis Livestock Sales before being corralled within a double-fenced pen, according to Scotland County Sheriff Bryan Whitney. The cow managed to penetrate both fences corralling her before heading into the nearby neighborhood and attacking a child and two men.

“The cow made contact with a ten-year-old north of Lincoln Street in Memphis,” said Sheriff Bryan Whitney. “It did knock (them) down.”

The child moved quickly using a telephone pole as a barrier, which the child ran circles around to avoid further contact with the animal. Fortunately, a passerby saw what was happening and used their vehicle to detour the cow away from the child.

From there, the next contact the cow made was with a man in his yard. The man was attacked from behind and did not see the cow coming.

Fortunately, another man came from a neighboring property to assist the fallen man. That man was also attacked by the cow and also went to the ground.

Another passerby used her vehicle as a barricade between the two men and the animal, which the cow rammed before leaving the area.

Sheriff Whitney reported it was originally thought the woman used her vehicle to ram or push the cow away from the victims, however, those reports were found to be incorrect. That vehicle was used as a barrier.

After the cow was successfully blocked from further trampling the two men lying on the ground, it disappeared into a nearby treeline.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Scotland County Ambulance District quickly responded to reports of the attacks.

“It was unique to have such a bad deal from an animal,” said Whitney. “The injuries were only 1000 feet from the area (the cow broke loose from). It happened fast. The phone lines all lit up at the same time.”

The Sheriff was among the first to arrive on the scene and worked quickly to check the victims and secure the area for other emergency responders. He was prepared to put the animal down upon arriving on the scene.

“I knew I’d do whatever I had to do to protect the public,” said Whitney.

Law enforcement surrounded the area and alerted anyone they encountered outside about the situation asking them to go inside and stay inside until it was safe to come out.

The Sheriff reported staff from the sale barn began a search as soon as the cow broke loose.

The livestock sale barn is located near the Scotland County R-1 School District.

“The school was not in jeopardy,” said Whitney.

After a roughly two-hour search for the animal, a neighbor saw her in the treeline and called in to help the Sheriff locate her.

“The owner of the property guided me to it,” said Whitney. “I was able to get myself in a safe position to discharge my rifle safely inside the city limits. I fired five rounds striking the cow all five times. The cow was dispatched immediately with no suffering.”

The Sheriff and personnel from the sale barn removed the cow from the area.

“I want to thank the residents for remaining inside during this event,” said Whitney. “I know of nothing anyone could have done to prevent this.”