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Trooper, Two Deputies Honored at State Sheriff's Association Banquet
12/09/2010
(The following is a news release from Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
 
An Oregon State Police trooper and two Columbia County Sheriff's deputies were honored Wednesday with the Oregon State Sheriff's Association's "Distinguised Action Award" during their annual awards banquet in Bend.
 
Trooper Justin Oxenrider, Deputy David Peabody, and Reserve Deputy Greg Brody were each presented with the statewide organization's award for their bravery and quick action that saved the life of a 38-year old farm worker who had been seriously injured in June when attacked by a bull.
 
On June 27, 2010, Oxenrider was stopped by residents along Highway 30 who told him a bull was attacking a man in a field by 35510 Millard Road.  Oxenrider was joined by Peabody and Brody who all observed Homero Cortez Ortega lying on the ground with stomach wounds and a large bull standing over him.
 
Oxenrider grabbed his patrol shotgun, and Peabody and Brody each obtained their patrol rifles.  The officers developed a plan to get the bull away from the injured man.  Shortly after the officers approached the wire fence, Ortega began to sit up in an effort to escape.  The officers yelled at him to lay back down but it was too late as the bull instantly attacked Ortega again, lifting him off the ground and tossing him "like a rag doll" 10 - 15 feet into the air.
 
Intending to get the bull to move away, the officers opened fire on the bull.  Despite hitting the farm animal with multiple bullets and buckshot, it continued to stand its ground.  The officers made the decision to kill the animal and fire again, causing it to fall to the ground as Brody moved toward Ortega to start first aid while requesting LifeFlight to respond.
 
Brody, who is a paramedic with the Columbia River Fire & Rescue District, described the near complete evisceration of the victim as the worst injuries he has seen a living patient have when he arrived.
 
LifeFlight transported Ortega to a hospital where he later recovered.  He credited the quick action of the officers with saving his life.
 
Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said the actions of the three officers were worthy of the state sheriffs' association's recognition.  "I am so proud to serve the citizens of Columbia County with such dedicated individuals," he said.  "The attendees at the banquet gave these three men a standing ovation.  They are the pride of Columbia County."