AMELIA, VA (WWBT) – Amelia County says Paul Perdue can't control his cows. Perdue is the owner of a farm off of Route 360. He was arrested and charged with a dozen crimes, including animal cruelty.
County administrator Tom Harris is familiar with the case.
"That pattern is the lack of food, the lack of water and consequently we had to take more dramatic action," explained Harris.
Neighbor Wallick Harding lives less than two miles away. He's watched the runaway cattle chomp at his barley.
"It's been an on-going issue for, I think, more than a year," said Harding. "They're not what you would consider really bad shape. But they're hungry. They're just eating whatever, anything they can find."
In addition to damaging land, Wallick Harding says the cows are damaging property. He says, two were hit on Amelia Springs Road. The county says three others have been hit on Route 360.
"They did damaged- I think it totaled one car and I know a UPS tractor-trailer hit two of them," recalled Harding.
On four separate occasions Amelia County has rounded up cattle along 360. Taxpayers are footing that bill and are paying for the county to store the cattle until Perdue comes to pick them up.
"We're very proud of our rural character in Amelia and want to maintain that and retain that as much as possible," said Harris. "However, not at the expense of the public."
We paid a visit to Paul Perdue's home, but he wasn't there. Wallick Harding has never met the man he says is creating a danger zone.
"[The cows] have gotten quite wild,' said Harding. "You can't get very close to them."
The county wants Perdue to fix the fence or sell the cows. Harris worries the cattle could cause another crash.
"Route 360 is a very well traveled road, and at 60 miles an hour it can do some extensive damage," explained Harris.
Paul Perdue's trial is set for January 21st.