It could be called the case of a cow in a bakery shop.
Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. Reserve Officer Patrick Stinson said a 911 call came in to Central Dispatch at about 12:16 a.m. Friday, from a woman on rural Turley Road who said someone was breaking into her house.
Two other officers were responding to a domestic call, so Stinson took the Turley Road call for help. On the way, he said, ‘Dispatch advised that they could hear the rear door of the residence being kicked in; they were hearing the female caller screaming and could hear some type of struggle going on.
‘Dispatch advised that the line went silent; there was an open line.’
Stinson said he immediately feared the woman had been accosted and called for backup.
‘I thought this was the real deal,’ Stinson said. ‘I’ve worked 70 or 80 hours a month patrolling, and this was the scariest run I’ve ever had.’
Corydon marshal Matt Kitterman responded, and the two arrived at the residence about the same time.
‘We walked around the residence, and as we came to the rear of the house, we observed the rear door had been broken down, indicating a forced entry.’
The two went into the kitchen through the broken back door and found total disarray. Stinson said dishes were broken and scattered, a trash can was knocked over and trash was everywhere.
From there, the police went into the dining room where chairs were turned over and china was broken. A large hutch in the dining room had been moved during the struggle, Stinson said.
When he went into the living room, where a TV was showing ‘Cops,’ Stinson said he could see two legs on the floor coming out of a doorway. Dawn Clifton was unconscious and the phone was on the floor next to her.
Stinson said they could not awaken her so he called for an ambulance and then checked the rest of the house searching for an intruder.
No one was found other than three small children who were asleep, Stinson said.
Stinson and Kitterman went back to Clifton and tried again to waken her. A few minutes later, she awoke, began screaming and ran behind a chair. ‘She was startled by our presence,’ Stinson said.
When she regained her composure, Clifton, a professional baker, told police she had been baking brownies, muffins, coffee cakes and cookies and had gone to watch TV while the oven cooled so she could continue baking at a cooler temperature.
‘That’s when she heard something banging on her front door, trying to get in,’ so she dialed 911.
A few minutes later, she heard something walking around in the kitchen and went it to see who it was.
‘That’s when she saw a black cow standing in her kitchen, screamed and ran to her children’s rooms to protect them,’ Stinson said. ‘But she slipped, fell and knocked herself out.’
Clifton said she fell because she was wearing socks and, trying to run backwards, slipped on the wood floor and struck her head on a piece of furniture. ‘I knocked myself for a loop,’ she said.
The next thing she knew, the police were there. Soon EMS arrived and treated her for an injury to her head.
‘No one believes me when I tell this story,’ said Stinson.
He said the cow could not be located, but it had left evidence of the late night visit on the kitchen floor.
A fenced pasture behind the house showed evidence of the cow coming through. Then it climbed five steps (unheard of, Stinson said) to the back concrete porch and went inside.
Either coyotes who could be heard in the distant pasture or the aroma of the baked goods enticed the bovine to enter the house, Stinson said.
‘It was pretty crazy,’ he added.
Clifton said she has two kitchens, and the cow had broken into her baking kitchen. She had opened a screened window and the back door, so the cow could have smelled the baked goods.
Her husband, Charles, was at work and her three children, Caleb, 8, Cassie, 6, and Daniel, 4, had gone to bed.