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Owner of stray cows won't face charges

(ran East, West, Beach editions)

The police will not seek charges of negligence against a resident whose runaway cattle have twice been recaptured on city streets.

After walking around Tin Ngo's 2.4-acre property Saturday, police Sgt. Sanfield Forseth said he could see Ngo had been trying to solve his problem by building a fence that would keep the cows contained.

Forseth said he also discovered a pair of hinges were affixed to a gate in such a way that a cow rubbing against it could lift the gate.

"Cows love to rub up against things," Forseth said.

If the hinges are reversed, Forseth said, the problem might be solved.

After Ngo's herd of 10 cows escaped from his property July 9, Norseth said the city would press charges. It was the second time in four months police had been summoned to round up livestock, and one officer had complained: "We are getting tired of doing the rodeo thing."

The charges would have carried a fine of up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail.

Ngo contacted the city's risk management office, apologizing for the latest incident and offering to pay restitution for police time. He was sent a bill for $210. In March, he was fined $30 by the city and billed $1,200 for police time.

"It is clear that it was my cows," Ngo said Tuesday. "I did not let them out intentionally, of course, but I did not want to create a conflict or a problem for the city."

Police also do not plan to fine Ngo for the July 9 incident, Forseth said. Instead, Forseth will revisit Ngo to make sure the new fencing is completed.

"We will watch and wait and see what happens," he said.

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