Police in Eagle Point, Oregon are hailing a cowboy as a hero for hopping onto his horse and using his lasso to save the day, like something out of a classic western movie.
Yet this was no movie. In a case of life imitating art, Robert Borba, a 28-year-old rancher happened to be in the store buying dog food and a tent when he heard a damsel in distress.
As he was coming out of Walmart, Borba heard a woman screaming “Stop that man! He stole my bike! He stole my bike” and pointing at a man riding away.
“I seen this fella trying to get up to speed on a bicycle,” said the rancher, who was on his way to California to helping brand cattle. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot. I just don’t run very fast.”
So he went to the trailer and hopped on his trusty steed Long John, who was with him to help handle the cattle, and the duo gave chase.
Borba and Long John were picking up speed as the thief was having trouble figuring out how the bikes gears worked and ditched the bike, attempting to flee on foot.
That’s when the rancher grabbed his rope and let if fly, lassoing the thief around his ankles, causing him to flop to the ground, and dragging him like roped cattle to the end of the parking lot, where Borba called 911.
“The guy seen me coming at him with this horse and he just throws the bike on the ground and took off running on foot so I went ahead and roped him. When the rope went around his feet I just dallied and rode off like I would cattle.
“I kept the rope stretched out and he said I was going to pull his legs out and what not. It’s kind of funny, too. Because I never did get to rope somebody that did something bad before.”
Eagle Point police sergeant Darrin May said it was quite the scene when he arrived to see a man lassoed by his ankles and holding on to a tree.
“We’ve never had anyone lassoed and held until we got there,” May said. “That’s a first for me.”
Borba grew up doing rodeo competitions but quit because his “heart wasn’t in it” and now works as a professional ranch hand.
“I use a rope every day, that’s how I make my living,” Borba said. “If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good.”
The suspect is identified as Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, a 22-year-old transient from Seattle. He faces a misdemeanor theft charge.