Bull-fighting truckie set for bravery nomination

SEAMUS BOYER
WAIRARAPA REPORTER
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2012

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The truckie who took on an angry bull is to be nominated for a bravery award.

Police are recommending Marcus Thompson, 39, a Woodville stock driver, be recognised for launching himself at a half-tonne aberdeen angus-cross last week after it turned on its owner, Upper Hutt man John Leitner.

The pair had been loading nine bulls on the truck on Mr Leitner's Masterton farm when the bull knocked him to the ground and started mauling him.

Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said Mr Thompson and another man, who did not want to be identified, had quickly gone to the 79-year-old's aid.

"The act of jumping on a massive angry bull was pretty impressive and possibly life-saving, because that certainly distracted the bull.

"It was an extraordinary act of bravery that we would like to see honoured."

After being persuaded into a paddock, the bull ran through three wire fences, charged two police cars, an ambulance and a car, before police killed it.

However, it took several shots to stop the bull, with the first "just making it mad," Ms Watson said.

"It was a massive beast, so it took four shots. It was also a moving target, so it was pretty good work by [the shooter] because there was other stock around that he had to be aware of."

The attack left Mr Leitner, who turned 80 on Saturday, with serious injuries to his head and chest, including a punctured lung and several broken ribs. He remains in intensive care in Wellington Hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.

His wife, Wendy, said the young bull had never managed to fit into the herd since being introduced earlier this year.

"It was always away standing by itself, and it had already had a bit of a go at someone else before.

"I think it was just trying to smash into everything it could get to."

Contact Seamus Boyer
Wairarapa reporter
Email: seamus.boyer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @SeamusBoyer

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- The Dominion Post

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