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Man gored by bull at Littleton stockyard

Worker, 74, survives attack; animal killed

A 74-year-old man working at a Littleton stockyard was gored by a bull on Sunday, officials said.

Ronald Pollock was taken to Emerson Hospital in Concord but is expected to survive, authorities and colleagues said.

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Police had to kill the out-of-control bull, authorities said.

Pollock is co-owner of the Brighton Commission, the company that runs the stockyard, said his business partner Hugh McGovern, who identified Pollock as the victim.

He was loading the bull onto a truck and was closing the truck’s gate when the bull whipped around, knocked the gate open with its horns, and attacked him, McGovern said.

McGovern said Pollock may have misjudged the dangerousness of this particular bull, because normally he would have put a fixture between himself and the animal to prevent such an attack.

Pollock’s son, Brian, and another coworker were eventually able to get the bull away from the injured man, McGovern said.

“Brian said he tried to get [the bull] off his father, but the bull, he wasn’t feeling it,” McGovern said.

McGovern was not at the stockyard during the attack, but he spoke with Brian Pollock on Sunday.

“It’s unfortunate about the animal, but I’m just glad the injury was non-life-threatening,” said Rich Bonanno, president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, which owns the stockyard and leases it to the Brighton Commission.

“As an event obviously we’re sorry to see it happen, but animals can be unpredictable, especially big ones,” he said.

McGovern recalled that he and Pollock were attacked by a fighting bull at the stockyard 15 years ago. That bull cracked one of Pollock’s ribs, but McGovern got away unscathed.

“It’s a tough crowd we have,” McGovern said. “Every once in a while, like an automobile accident, you never know when it’s going to hit you.”

McGovern said he and Pollock have been business partners for 29 years and have been friends since childhood.

Police would not comment on the incident on Sunday, and firefighters would not release any further information.

The extent of Pollock’s injuries was not clear Sunday evening.

Tim Gilbert, who lives near the stockyard, said bulls from the establishment have been known to occasionally cause trouble in his neighborhood.

“Every so often it happens that one gets loose,” he said.

Gilbert, 55, said about 45 years ago his father and best friend’s father chased down and roped a bull that got loose, then eight years ago he and the same friend tried to chase down a rampaging black Angus bull, but it got away into the woods. No one was hurt in either incident, he said.

McGovern did not know how Pollock was doing said but he expected him to be back selling cattle in no time.

“He’s one rugged dude, I’ll tell you.”

Nicholas Jacques can be reached at nicholas.jacques@globe.com.
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