State Sen. Randy Price and his wife, Lee County Revenue Commissioner Oline Price, were arrested on Monday and charged with three counts each of “large animals running at large,” a misdemeanor offense, according to a press release from the Opelika Police Department.
The animal in question was a cow, the senator said later that day.
The couple turned themselves in at the Lee County Sheriff’s Department after the warrants were filed against them, according to the police report.
Police said a neighbor filed a complaint against the Prices and an investigation was conducted by Opelika Animal Control. Afterward, the complaints were filed with the Opelika Municipal Court and “probable cause was found for the warrants to be issued,” according to the police release.
In a statement released to the media, Randy Price said the incident involved one cow.
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“Today my wife, Oline and I responded to a warrant that had been issued against us,” he wrote. “A cow that is in our herd got off our property onto the neighbor’s property and the neighbor filed a complaint with the Opelika police department for a cow running at large which is a city ordinance.”
“Oline and I have been raising cattle and goats for more than forty years,” he continued. “We are proud to have raised our two sons on this same farm that has been in the family for more than 100 years and if there is one thing we can tell you as a parent and farmers is that you can’t always control your animals or your children. We are looking forward to resolving this matter.”
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said the Prices signed a signature bond and the case is set for a municipal court date.
City of Opelika Ordinance 4-78, adopted from State Code 3-5-2, states that allowing large animals to run at large is prohibited by the city.
“It shall be unlawful for the owner or person in charge of any large animal to cause, permit or allow such animal to run or to be at-large,” the Opelika Code of Ordinances states. “The fact that any large animal has been kept on a particular premises, together with its subsequent appearance at-large, shall raise a prima facie presumption that the owner or person in charge of the premises permitted or allowed a violation and the burden of proof shall be upon the owner or person in charge to prove otherwise.”
The State Code of Alabama section 3-5-2 says that it is unlawful for owners of any livestock or animal to allow that animal to “run at large upon premises of another without permission or upon public lands, highways, roads or streets” in the state of Alabama.