June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Llama on the loose

Staff Writer

HINCKLEY TWP. — The supplies to build a fence for his llama were in the back of his pickup truck, but Eric Lind was just a few minutes too late.

When he came home to feed his kids lunch Friday, Lind didn’t see his pet llama in the back yard, but he didn’t think much of it at first.

“There’s a bush back there he likes to graze behind, so I figured he was back there,” Lind said.

What Lind didn’t realize was the llama he bought at the St. Hope auction on Wednesday was loose and running around on Center Road near Aldi.

Eric Lind, owner of the llama that got loose from his Center Road property in Hinckley Township, leads his pet home Friday afternoon. Hinckley Patrolman Joseph Ceccacci said he was called out at 2:50 p.m. after an off-duty Hinckley firefighter almost hit the llama with his vehicle. (Andrew Dolph | Staff Photographer)

At 2:50 p.m., Hinckley police were called to the 2600 block of Center Road after an off-duty firefighter nearly hit the llama with his car, Patrolman Joseph Ceccacci said.

After arriving, police quickly cornered the spooked llama into a resident’s yard across the street from Lind’s house. Ceccacci had a dog leash in his patrol car and used it to hook onto the llama’s bridle and wrangle him to safety.

“Most of the time spent was trying to figure out who the owner was,” Ceccacci said. Police were on the scene a little more than an hour.

Meanwhile, Lind’s friend was over to talk about a welding job when Lind noticed police in the field across the street.

“I asked him, ‘What are the police doing over there?’ and he said, ‘They’re taking pictures of a llama,’ ” Lind said.

Lind immediately realized his new pet was loose and rushed across the street to claim his llama.

“Once the guy saw us, he comes running across the street yelling, ‘That’s my llama!’ ” Ceccacci said. “That’s not something you hear everyday.”

Police and Lind are baffled as to how the llama got loose, especially since neither the rope nor latch securing the llama was broken. Lind said he thinks someone walking in the field behind his house might have unhooked the llama’s leash.

However the llama got loose, all’s well that ends well for police and Lind.

“I’m just glad that nobody got hurt because there’s a lot of cars driving up and down there,” Lind said.

Hlavinka may be reached at 330-721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.