The male bovine escaped from a livestock trailer Tuesday morning on Interstate 8 just east of Yuma in southeastern Arizona, Yuma County sheriff's Capt. Eben Bratcher told The Associated Press.
The driver of the trailer, which had five other steer inside, was getting on the freeway when he noticed that a side door was ajar. He pulled over but one of his charges got away before he could shut the door.
"It was chaotic," Bratcher said. "It was running around in traffic on the interstate, which is why law enforcement got involved as quickly as it did. There was a lot of us out there chasing this thing around."
He said the steer bounded over one police car and later barreled over a brick wall, knocking some bricks down.
A sheriff's deputy eventually was able to rope the steer from the bed of a pickup about a half-hour after the escape as another deputy drove alongside it.
"It kicked the crap out of the truck and dented it up," Bratcher said.
Bratcher said the nimble steer was uninjured and was returned to its owner, a Yuma man who continued on his trip to take the steer to a feed lot.
Bratcher said the animal was a roping steer, the type often featured at rodeos. At first he thought it was a Texas longhorn.
"It's ornery," he said. "They're not known for their docile nature."