Fast Eddie's Buffalo Roamed

Vrdolyak's buffalo runs loose through small town streets

Some of "Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak's colleagues would argue that they've had to put up with a load of "bull." This week, a few Michigan police officers had to put up with a load of buffalo.

Edward Robert Vrdolyak, better known as "Fast Eddie," was an influential Chicago Alderman and powerbroker who dodged legal trouble for years. In 2008, he pled guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.

Sunday, a buffalo escaped from Vrdolyak's farm in Benton Harbor and swam across the St Joseph River. The animal ran through the city streets and, much like its owner, dodged police.

One man who said the buffalo rammed his car took pictures of the animal running wild through the town's streets.

In the interest of public safety, police shot and killed the buffalo, but it took several bullets to bring the large, violently agitated animal down.

From the officer's official report:

"My first 3-4 shots went into the buffalo. The buffalo started charging me when I was about 25 yards away. After the first 3-4 shots it slowed down but kept coming towards me. When it was about 10 feet away, I fired several more shots until the buffalo went down on its side.

"I knew that no civilians were in the area as I had already warned them to get back. In the event that I missed the rounds would have gone into the brick building which is Bank of America.

After the buffalo went down on its left side, I got up and reassessed if the buffalo was still alive or still a danger. I could still see the buffalo moving its legs. I announced that I would be shooting the buffalo several more times out of mercy to put it out of its misery. I then put four more rounds into the lung area. I fired a total of 12 shots at the buffalo, including the last 3-4 mercy shots."

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, visits Benton Harbor monthly.

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