Thursday, November 24 2022

A bull escaped during the rodeo in Redding on Friday night and six people were injured before the animal was captured near the Sundial Bridge, Redding police said.

The bull was caught near the bridge and immediately placed in a trailer, the Redding Rodeo Association said in a press release late Friday evening.

Redding Rodeo

A student from Enterprise High School was one of those injured by the bull’s horns and spoke to Record Searchlight about his heartbreaking experience.

Details were still emerging on Saturday morning about what happened. Rodeo officials released the statement Friday evening but said little else Saturday morning.

“We have nothing more this morning,” Rodeo Association spokesman Erick Mattson said via email.

Rodeo officials said Friday night the bull jumped the arena fence during the final section of the bull riding event.

“The bull exited the rodeo and headed for the competitors’ parking lot,” the press release read.

15-year-old Enterprise High sophomore Jordan Greco said he was one of those injured by the bull as it charged near the stadium’s VIP section. Photos shared by Greco showed his left leg wrapped in bandages from knee to thigh.

He then went to the emergency room and had further tests on his leg. Greco thinks he was ‘lucky’ not to suffer more serious injuries.

Redding Police Corporal. Aaron Hollemon said on Saturday around six people were injured, all with minor, non-life-threatening injuries.

“The people who were injured were bystanders in the stands as well as people at the Sundial Bridge, so both locations,” Hollemon said. “I know that at least one person was injured in the sundial bridge area. I don’t know if the other five were in the stands. I don’t know exactly what the breakdown was.”

The injured person on the bridge was a woman who was taken by ambulance to hospital with minor injuries.

“I understand four people were seen by emergency medical personnel and left before we could contact them,” Hollemon said.

Hollemon said police are referring further matters to the rodeo association.

Business students were eyewitnesses

Greco said he was a member of Enterprise’s FFA program which helped check rodeo tickets and assisted other guests who sat on rodeo flats.

Greco was queuing to use the restroom after his shift ended when the bull jumped over the enclosure and towards the rear entrance to the arena.

Greco was “cut” by one of the rampaging beast’s horns as rodeo-goers tried to avoid his path.

“I looked at the woman who took over from me and the next thing I know I see this huge bull running towards us,” Greco said.

Greco was working his shift with his classmate, 16-year-old Enterprise FFA sophomore Braedon Jones. Jones said he was 15 yards from Greco as he watched his friend get hit.

“I’m stressed,” Jones said. “We were working perfectly fine before it happened. (Greco) had to call me because he was close and I didn’t know he had been hit. I saw the bull cross.”

Both Greco and Jones play on the defensive line of the Enterprise football team. Greco described what it was like to be hit by a bull in relation to the blows he gives and receives on the field.

“Getting hit by a bull was an experience,” Greco said. “To be honest, I didn’t feel it at the time because my adrenaline was rising and I had to make split-second decisions.”

emergency response

Spectator video posted to Facebook shows a rider staying on the bull before it was finally pushed back. A rodeo cowboy has followed the bull and tries to lasso him before the bull jumps over the fence.

An emergency response plan was activated by the rodeo announcer and “rodeo breeding professionals responded quickly to safely contain the bull,” the statement said.

The Rodeo Association’s statement says first responders, rodeo staff and local law enforcement provided first aid.

“Sports Medicine Team Justin, Mercy Ambulance, rodeo staff and local law enforcement responded immediately with first aid and treatment,” the new statement read.

The final Saturday night rodeo will continue as planned, the association said.

“We wish the best to everyone involved. The safety of our fans is our top priority and we appreciate their support,” the association said.

Earlier bull incident at Red Bluff

Another incident involving an escaped bull occurred on June 20, 2008 at the Red Bluff Rodeo.

In this case, an enraged bull trampled seven bystanders, including a baby, at the Red Bluff rally, the Tehama Sheriff’s Department said in a report.

According to a Record Searchlight article, the Red Bluff bull jumped an 8-foot fence as cowboys tried to force him through a series of chutes.

After landing, the bull raced through the box, trampling several onlookers before stopping at a steel railing that separated it from another set of box seats.

Mike Chapman is an award-winning journalist and photographer for Record Searchlight in Redding, California. His newspaper career spans Yreka and Eureka in Northern California and Bellingham, Washington. Support local journalism by subscribing today.


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