'Unicorn' on the loose leads California police in 3-hour chase

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Feb. 26, 2016 at 9:17 AM

MADERA RANCHOS, Calif., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Police in California said a reported "unicorn" on the loose led officers on a three-hour chase before they were able to capture the pony, which was dressed up for a photo shoot.

The California Highway Patrol said a call came in Wednesday afternoon about a unicorn running loose in the Madera Ranchos area.

"We got a call of a unicorn running in the roadway on 12th Ave. near Road 32," Officer Justin Perry told KMPH-TV. "I've been doing this for 14 years and this is my first call for a unicorn."

The "unicorn" was actually Juliet, a pony belonging to Sandra Boos. The owner said Juliet often plays a unicorn at parties and escaped during a photo shoot with the horn and pink halter still attached to her head.

"I'm a photographer here in the Fresno area and a lot of little girls have had their dreams come true taking pictures with Juliet the unicorn," Boos said. "She threw her head up ... [and] ran off and the more we pursued her the further she ran."

The pony led residents and police on a three-hour chase that at one point involved the CHP's H40 helicopter using heat-seeking FLIR radar to track Juliet.

A resident with a horse helped police lure Juliet into a trailer.

"I was standing with the CHP at the time and a call came over the radio that said the unicorn is in custody, and there was a huge sigh of relief, a few tears, and some laughter. It was the comedic relief needed in the moment," Boos said.

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