New vest saves police officer after bull sees red

Fraser Barton |

A Queensland police officer was able to walk away after being charged and trodden on by a bull.
A Queensland police officer was able to walk away after being charged and trodden on by a bull.

A Queensland police officer will have a tale to tell for the rest of his life after walking away from a charging bull thanks to new protective gear.

The officer was part of a group responding to a livestock truck rollover along the New England Highway in July near Charleville in southwest Queensland.

The bull on the loose must have thought the officer in blue was wearing red as it charged him into the bullbar of a nearby fire truck, before stomping on the officer and staring him down.

A video released by the force on Wednesday shows the bull walking away after some words and hand signals by the officer.

The officer later said policing was a diverse job on any given day and you never know what kind of horns might come at you in the role.

“That was pretty unexpected, and I’ll admit, it was a bit of a shock,” he said.

“I don’t want to think about what might have happened had I not been wearing that vest, but let’s just say I’m pretty glad I had it on. It’s certainly done its job.”

The aforementioned vest is a integrated load bearing vest, or ILBV, that combines ballistic and edged weapon technology through advancements in textiles and design, Queensland police said. 

A statewide roll out of the ILBV’s began in January to frontline officers across Queensland.

Over 3300 officers have already received the vests while another 6000 have been measured up to receive their own.

The full rollout is expected to be completed by 2024.

Acting Senior Sergeant Lisle Manthey said the incident was unconventional proof of the vest’s capability.

“The officer charged by the bull was able to walk away from this incident because of the impeccable safety and capability of this vest.  Without it, the officer could have suffered life-threatening injuries or worse,” Sgt Manthey said. 

“These vests not only allow officers to safely carry their accoutrements on a daily basis but they provide added protection against offenders who may be armed with knives or firearms or on this occasion, the brunt of a charging bull.”