After ‘kid-napping’ from Mounds Park, officers find goat unharmed

By Mara H. Gottfried
Pioneer Press

St. Paul police were on the case of a “kid”-napping early Friday, May 5, after recovering a goat that was briefly stolen from Indian Mounds Regional Park.

The city of St. Paul released 30 goats on Tuesday to roam inside fenced-in areas along the park’s bluff edge. The goats eat invasive species and unwanted vegetation.

About 1 a.m. Friday, a GMC Yukon Denali sped through a stop sign at Earl Street and Mounds Boulevard and almost struck a squad car with officers patrolling in Mounds Park, according to police.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver kept going, said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.

“While pursuing the vehicle, police were informed that the Yukon Denali matched the description of a vehicle that was in Mounds Park with people attempting to either kill or kidnap the goats,” Linders said. “I don’t believe (officers) knew there was a goat in the vehicle at that time.”

After about two miles, the Yukon’s driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into another vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 600 block of Birmingham Street, police said. Four people in the Yukon jumped out and tried to run away before the vehicle had fully stopped.

Police chased them and arrested two men, both 29, on suspicion of theft.

Officers found a goat in the Yukon’s cargo area. The goat, which had a tag on his ear identifying him as Gordy, was unharmed, though he had an orange extension cord wrapped around his neck, according to Linders.

“I assume they used the cord to capture the goat and lead it to their vehicle,” Linders said.

Police took the two suspects to the Ramsey County jail and the goat back to Mounds Park.

At the park, officers “discovered that the fence containing the goats had been broken, so the majority of Gordy’s pals had wandered out,”

Linders said. Officers, along with St. Paul Parks and Recreation workers, corralled them and repaired the fence.

The St. Paul city attorney’s office said the two men arrested — Thaying Cha and Eni Xiong, both St. Paul residents — were charged Friday with two misdemeanors, theft and fleeing on foot.

Clare Cloyd, St. Paul Parks and Recreation spokeswoman, said Gordy is doing well.

“He was pulled from the job site for evaluation as an extra safety precaution, but was fine and eating buckthorn at the time he was removed,” Cloyd said.

The goats were provided by Goat Dispatch, a Minnesota company that provides the animals for land management. After the goats were brought to the park Tuesday, staff from the company and Parks and Rec “regularly patrolled the park and monitored the herd,” Cloyd said.

“Following this incident, we will be increasing the number of patrols to ensure the continued safety of the goats and the public.”

– Forum News Service

In a photo posted to the St. Paul Police Department Facebook page, St. Paul police officers are photographed with a goat that had been stolen from Indian Mounds Regional Park early Friday, May 5, 2017. The goat -- “Gordy” -- was found in a vehicle that had been abandoned after being pursued by police. Officers gave chase and were able to apprehend two 29-year-old males who would later be arrested for gross misdemeanor theft and booked into the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center. Gordy is one of 30 goats released into Indian Mounds Regional Park earlier this week in an effort to reduce the spread of invasive species (Courtesy of the St. Paul Police Department) Thirty hungry goats are released along the bluff edge at Indian Mounds Regional Park in Saint Paul to kick off the city’s first-ever effort to reduce the spread of invasive species using goats, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Over the next several months, goats will roam inside fenced-in sections of parkland along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul to eat unwanted vegetation – the most environmentally friendly way to enhance the natural habitat. Goats are well-suited for this work because they are easily able to navigate the steep bluff-edge terrain, are light on the land, and enjoy eating brushy, woody vegetation. This effort is led through a partnership between Saint Paul’s Great River Passage team and the Natural Resources Section, which is facilitating an environmentally friendly, multi-year approach to ensure that natural plants are able to flourish along the Mississippi River.  (Photp by Scott Takushi - Pioneer Press, Forum News Service)
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Thirty hungry goats are released along the bluff edge at Indian Mounds Regional Park in Saint Paul to kick off the city’s first-ever effort to reduce the spread of invasive species using goats, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Over the next several months, goats will roam inside fenced-in sections of parkland along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul to eat unwanted vegetation – the most environmentally friendly way to enhance the natural habitat. Goats are well-suited for this work because they are easily able to navigate the steep bluff-edge terrain, are light on the land, and enjoy eating brushy, woody vegetation. This effort is led through a partnership between Saint Paul’s Great River Passage team and the Natural Resources Section, which is facilitating an environmentally friendly, multi-year approach to ensure that natural plants are able to flourish along the Mississippi River. (Photp by Scott Takushi - Pioneer Press, Forum News Service)