By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – It was a violent end to a dramatic escape. Bridgewater Police put down a 1,300 pound steer after it forced its way out of a local slaughterhouse and began running through streets and backyards of the town.

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Terry Den Besten, owner of Den Besten Farm, says the steer was bought at auction the night before and was being brought in for processing when he bounced against the gate and managed to loosen a latch.

“He just caught it perfectly,” said Den Besten, who believes the animal’s instinct kicked in. “When he got to this point he didn’t want anything to do with it. He turned around on my employee.”

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Den Besten says the escape was a fluke but bought the animal an extra hour of freedom as he and Bridgewater Police struggled to catch up with the animal and corral it. “Sometimes he was running pretty fast. Then I did lose sight for awhile and he was back in my sights again,” he said.

The steer ran through the property of Bridgewater-Raynham High School and into a nearby cemetery and apartment complex before making it to Bridgewater center.

The commotion was heard by witness Dennis Bunting. “We saw officers running down the streets with guns, it was a little scary. Then we heard shots,” said Bunting.

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Police had finally trapped the panicked animal in a fenced-in area behind an insurance company. Den Besten says there was no choice but to put the animal down. “I told them to take matters into their own hands. I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said.

Beth Germano