(BOONE, N.C.) — Watch out, K-9 units. There’s a new animal assisting police in their crime-fighting mission.

A herd of cows helped a North Carolina police department track a suspect who fled from officers during a traffic stop on Tuesday, allowing police to locate and arrest the suspect, authorities said.


“The cows literally led the officers to where the suspect was hiding,” the Boone Police Department Sergeant Dennis O’Neal wrote in an official press release. “In addition to thanking our officers and deputies for putting themselves in harm’s way; obviously, we want to express our gratitude to the cows for their assistance.”

Boone Police officers initially pulled over Joshua Minton, 34, for a traffic stop on Tuesday, May 9. Minton fled from the officers before abandoning his vehicle and running into a rural area, according to the press release.

“Due to the suspect’s fast and reckless driving, our officers were not close enough to see exactly where the suspect ran,” the release said.


As officers struggled to locate Minton in the remote part of Deep Gap, North Carolina, a group of cows emerged to lead the officers to where Minton was hiding.

“Apparently, cows do not want suspected criminals loitering in their pasture and quickly assisted our officers by leading them directly to where the suspect was hiding,” the Town of Boone Police Department wrote on social media. “The cows communicated with the officers as best they could and finally just had the officers follow them to the suspect’s location.”

Minton was charged with fleeing arrest with a motor vehicle, driving with a revoked license and disorderly conduct, according to police. He received a $20,000 bond and is expected back in court in late June.


Leaning into the humor of the situation in a parody press release, Boone Police expressed openness to exploring other kinds of bovine law enforcement approaches. Their release included concerns such as the cost of ballistic vests for cows and methane emissions.

“We at the Boone Police Department are always looking for better ways to serve our community. We may be a small town; but we are a progressive, forward thinking law enforcement agency. For rural law enforcement, we want to be the tip of the spear,” they wrote.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.