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Police stop Nebraska man for bucking the law with a bull riding shotgun in his car

Aug 31, 2023, 12:07 PM

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This photo provided by News Channel Nebraska, a Watusi bull named Howdy Doody sits in the passenger seat of a car owned by Lee Meyer on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023 in Norfolk, Neb. The car that Meyer has been driving in parades across the area for years has half the windshield and roof removed to make room for his bull to ride along. (News Channel Nebraska via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(News Channel Nebraska via AP)

A 911 call about a car driving with a cow inside it in one of northeast Nebraska’s biggest cities was no bull.

Norfolk Police Capt. Chad Reiman said it didn’t take long for officers to track down the modified Ford Crown Victoria sedan with a bull riding shotgun on the main highway entering the city of roughly 24,000 Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t have a full understanding of it until we saw it,” Reiman said.

The car that Lee Meyer has driven in parades across the area for years has half the windshield and roof removed to make room for his bull, named Howdy Doody, to ride along. A yellow metal cattle gate serves as the passenger side door — allowing for the Watusi bull to be tied up — and a set of longhorns serves as a hood ornament.

“It wouldn’t go far without being noticed for sure,” Reiman said.

A video of the traffic stop shot by News Channel Nebraska spread quickly online.

A sign on the side of Meyer’s car from a parade in Burwell late last month declared that Howdy Doody’s eye-catching ride was judged the Best Car Entry in Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Parade.

Reiman said Meyer told him that when he went to that parade, he drove Howdy Doody in a proper trailer, so it wasn’t clear why he decided to load the bull into his car Wednesday and drive the 36 miles from his home in Neligh to Norfolk.

Reiman said Meyer wasn’t headed to a parade Wednesday. Meyer didn’t answer his home phone Thursday morning so he couldn’t be reached immediately for an explanation.

But his wife, Rhonda, told the Norfolk radio station that shot video of the traffic stop that Howdy Doody has been Meyer’s “friend and buddy” ever since he got him eight or nine years ago.

Videos of Lee Meyer driving Howdy Doody around can readily be found online from 2017 and 2019.

Rhonda Meyer told US92 that “Lee thinks he’s a movie star” after the video of his traffic stop went viral, but that he’s also a little shy.

Meyer said Howdy Doody is like a member of the family now, but she wasn’t always wild about how much her husband spent on the bull over the years.

“The amount of money that he’s spent on this whole darn project between the car and the bull I could’ve had a brand new kitchen,” Rhonda Meyer said.

Reiman said there were clearly some traffic violations related to Meyer’s car, but the officer let him off with a warning as long as he turned around and took Howdy Doody home.

“We’ve never dealt with anything quite like that before.” Reiman said.

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Police stop Nebraska man for bucking the law with a bull riding shotgun in his car