Police got an extra surprise when an emergency call reported a car travelling with a bull in the front passenger seat in Nebraska.
Norfolk police captain Chad Reiman said officers quickly located the modified Ford Crown Victoria sedan with the animal riding shotgun along the primary highway as it entered the city of approximately 24,000 individuals on Wednesday morning.
“We didn’t have a full understanding of it until we saw it,” Mr Reiman said.
Owner Lee Meyer has driven the vehicle in parades throughout the region for many years. Half of its windshield and roof have been taken out to create space for his Watusi bull, known as Howdy Doody, to join him.
A yellow metal cattle gate functions as a replacement for the passenger side door, enabling Howdy Doody to be securely tied up.
Adding to the unique features, a pair of longhorns acts as an ornament on the vehicle’s hood.
“It wouldn’t go far without being noticed for sure,” Mr Reiman added.
Video footage of the traffic stop, recorded by News Channel Nebraska, quickly gained traction online.
During a parade in Burwell last month, a sign fixed to Mr Meyer’s car proudly proclaimed Howdy Doody’s remarkable ride had secured the title of the best car entry in Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Parade.
Mr Reiman said that Mr Meyer personally told him about transporting Howdy Doody using a suitable trailer for the previous parade, which raises questions about the decision to load the bull into his car on Wednesday and drive the 36-mile journey from his Neligh home to Norfolk.
The police captain clarified that Mr Meyer wasn’t en route to a parade during the traffic stop.
Although Mr Meyer was unavailable when contacted on Thursday morning as he didn’t answer his home phone, his wife, Rhonda, who was present during the traffic stop and captured the video, provided insight.
Speaking to Norfolk’s US92 radio station, she said Howdy Doody has been Mr Meyer’s “friend and buddy” ever since he got him eight or nine years ago.
Videos of Mr Meyer chauffeuring Howdy Doody around town are easily accessible online from as far back as 2017 and 2019.
Ms Meyer added that Howdy Doody is now an integral part of their family, but admitted she wasn’t always entirely enthusiastic about the amount her husband spent on the bull over the years.
“The amount of money that he’s spent on this whole darn project between the car and the bull I could’ve had a brand new kitchen,” Mrs Meyer said.
Mr Reiman said there were clearly some traffic violations related to Mr Meyer’s car, but the officer let him off with a warning as long as he turned around and took Howdy Doody home.
“We’ve never dealt with anything quite like that before,” Mr Reiman said.