Cow loose in Niles corralled by police after Northridge Prep senior prank: 'It looked like a rodeo'

Bovine caught on video by WBBM's Roger Plummer

Friday, April 28, 2023
Loose cow causes chaos in north suburbs when senior prank goes wrong
A cow loose in Niles, IL was corralled by police after a senior prank at Northridge Prep went wrong. WBBM's Roger Plummer caught it on video.

NILES, Ill. (WLS) -- It was a real life rodeo in the northwest suburbs Thursday morning as a cow ran loose through a neighborhood after a senior prank at a high school in Niles before police were able to corral it.

Police said they responded to the 8300-block of Ballard Road, which is near Northridge Preparatory School, just before 3 a.m. for a report of suspicious subjects in the area.

Several Northridge students in the area were pulling a senior prank, which involved bringing live animals to the school, police said.

Students purchased a pig from the area near Dixon and the cow from the area near Winneconne, Wisconsin on Craigslist, police said. Chickens belonging to a student were also brought to the school.

The cow escaped during the incident and went into the local neighborhood, according to police.

WBBM's Roger Plummer posted a video to Facebook just after 6 a.m., saying "I arrive home tired from work at 5:45 a.m. and then I wonder if I'm dreaming!" with a cow emoji.

Northridge Preparatory School in Niles is searching for a cow on the loose, which was caught on video by WBBM's Roger Plummer.

"I said aloud, 'Is that a cow running up the street?' and I closed my eyes and opened them again and sure enough, it's a cow!" Plummer said.

The video shows about five people chasing a small brown cow through a residential area.

Just before 9:15 a.m., Chopper7HD flew above the scene as authorities corralled the loose cow and got it into a trailer.

Authorities wrangle a loose cow in north suburban Niles.

The cow had found a nook behind a row of homes prior to being captured. Authorities had it cornered, but it didn't go without a fight.

ABC7 Chicago cameras captured a cow being corralled in the north suburbs Thursday morning.

No one was injured in the incident.

Two wranglers from Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview helped corral the beleaguered bovine.

"Once you get ahold of it, you don't want to let it go," said Jonathan Kuester, director of Historic Wagner Farm. "And Blake got ahold of it and got it down on the ground and then I was able to get a lead on it, and we were able to get it right in the trailer."

The cow will now be taken to Hooved Animals Humane Society in Woodstock.

A cow that was captured after running wild through Niles neighborhoods is now comfortably settled at a suburban animal sanctuary.

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A spokesman for Northridge Prep provided a photo of the pen from which the cow escaped.

The incident captivated the neighborhood near Greendale and Clifton avenues in Niles.

Many neighbors said they heard the cow was on the move nearby, and they couldn't believe it.

Some neighbors went looking for it, and found out the news wasn't a bunch of bull.

"We saw a helicopter, and then we saw the trucks, so we walked on over to see if there really was a cow. We really saw a cow," Jaime Michelini said.

"I was standing by the truck, and it looked like a rodeo. It was crazy between the police and the trappers, and then it was the cow was coming in the crowd, so we all kinda like backed off a bit. But it was interesting," Kurt Hejza said.

"Park Ridge, Niles, you wouldn't expect to see a cow, you know, maybe a deer or two, but, yeah, this is a great way to start off the summer, with a little excitement," Matthew Michelini said.

The Northridge Preparatory administration is conducting an internal investigation into the incident regarding those involved, police said.

The school administration is not pursuing any criminal charges.

The school is managing the cleanup and removal of any animals within the school itself.

Kuester is urging people to take stock before acting and acquiring livestock animals.

"My biggest fear when I got out to the scene was that it would run out onto the street and get hit by a car," he said. "It was tough enough for two of us who know how to handle livestock to handle them, so I don't know how some high school kids thought they were going to do it."

The students involved in the incident were issued village of Niles ordinance citations with a mandatory appearance in Niles Adjudication Court to include: curfew violation, disorderly conduct, animal feces accumulation - not permitted and prohibited animal species.

Payment and fees for services rendered will be addressed at Niles Adjudication Court.