75 Cattle Get Off A Boat In Manhattan, 3 Decide To Take A Tour Of The City Instead of Going To The Slaughterhouse
After A Chase Through Midtown Manhattan – Cops Catch An Elusive Steer In Times Square
It was little before 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 1935. Labor Day weekend had just ended. The city was stirring back to life to begin a normal work week. At an East River dock on 45th Street, a boat was unloading its cargo, 75 head of cattle, all headed to the nearby slaughterhouse.
72 cattle headed a half-block away to Wilson & Company. Three adventurous cattle decided to take a tour of the city rather than be turned into steaks and cutlets.
The three steers wandered away, one heading to a nearby pier where he was quickly spotted by officer George Stuerhoff who had been watching the boat unload its cargo. Having seen rodeos, Officer Stuerhoff did a maneuver that a cowhand would be familiar with. He grabbed the animal by the tail and led him back to the herd.
The other two escaped bovines headed further into the waking city traveling west along 46th Street.
Steer number two went to 48th Street and Park Avenue with officer George Hartwell in pursuit. With the help of a few waiting taxi drivers and Waldorf-Astoria doorman John Stolman in his spiffy white uniform, the group captured the steer in front of the famous hotel.
Steer number three had separated from steer number two at Lexington Avenue and made its way to the Chapman Nut Shop at 123 Park Avenue near 42nd Street. Officer Fred Grubert heard the sound of glass breaking and ran to the scene of the crime. There he saw the front door of the store smashed. Grubert looked into the store, heard some noises, and saw two eyes glowing back at him. The officer drew his revolver and said “Come out in the name of the law, and be quick about it!”
Park Avenue passerby started gathering to observe what was happening. To officer Grubert’s surprise the intruder was escaped steer number three. The officer told a one passerby to phone the police emergency squad to send help.
Minutes later just as three police cars arrived at the nut shop, the animal burst through the crowd, galloping along 42nd Street past Fifth Avenue. Officer Grubert jumped on the running board of one of the patrol cars as it followed the escapee. The steer made its way into Times Square startling pedestrians as it zig-zagged along the great white way up to 45th Street and Broadway.
By this time officer Grubert had borrowed a rope from a news dealer and returned to the running board of the police car. Officer Grubert created a homemade noose and attempted to throw it around the cattle’s neck.
He tried several times and kept missing. Every time he missed the crowd that had gathered cheered the cattle.
Finally officer Grubert managed to lasso the cow, who did not take kindly to being roped. With a slight tug the cattle yanked officer Grubert onto the street and pulled him by the seat of his pants for about half a block until other officers ganged up on the cattle. Finally the animal was tied up and subdued, which can be seen in our photograph.
The Wilson & Company truck soon came and collected the sightseeing cattle returning to the abattoir to meet their fate.