Washington Township officers wrangle loose 200-pound pig 'Pumba' after brief escape

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Saturday, May 4, 2024
NJ officers wrangle loose pig 'Pumba' after brief escape | WATCH
Washington Township officers wrangle loose 200-pound pig 'Pumba' after brief escape

WASHINGTON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Washington Township police were on a different kind of foot pursuit on Friday afternoon.

They were trying to take a 200-pound pig named Pumba into custody. His crime? Escaping his stall.

"It wasn't the typical day on the job to say the least," said Officer Frank Cicalese.

"It was a change," said Officer Victor Rossi. "We deal with some unsettling things in this job, and I think it was fun."

Rossi and Cicalese were the first to answer the call when residents spotted Pumba in traffic at the corner of Egg Harbor and County House roads in Sewell.

The officers located him in the Heatherwood neighborhood.

"Let me tell you something, they don't tell you how to wrangle pigs as a police officer," said Cicalese. "I reverted back to my college football days like I was a linebacker coming through the middle hitting a running back. I just jumped on top it, tackled it. We tied it and that was it."

"They did an awesome job today," said Chief Patrick Gurcsik. "When I got there, they were literally chasing the pig, and Frank tackled it and wrestled it to the ground. They don't teach that in the police academy."

Once the officers captured Pumba and posted a "wanted" flyer on Facebook, the pig was reunited with his owner within 45 minutes.

Turns out he lives about a mile down the road.

"Somehow the gate might have been left open, and he decided to go for a little walk," said his owner, Jay. "Thank God we got good officers here in Washington Township."

These officers are the Timon to this Pumba and happily saying "Hakuna Matata."

"I think it was a good time," said Rossi.

"It was normal for me, just not in uniform obviously," said Cicalese. "Maybe I'll be a farmer one day - you never know."

As for Pumba, there will be no punishments or fines, just a good night's rest after a long day on the loose.