Horseback hero foils bandit, saves damsel in distress

Mel Buttigieg

It was like something out of a country and western when a cattle rancher on horseback foiled a robbery by lassoing a would-be criminal.

But this cowboy was no John Wayne, and there were no camera crews when the unbelievable scene unfolded at a Walmart car park, at a US city in Oregon.

Rancher Robert Borba, 28, was loading his cattle trailer with dog food after dropping by the megastore, when he heard the cries of a damsel in distress.

Rancher Robert Borba and his horse Long John The hero and Long John kept the alleged bike bandit secure until the police arrived. Picture: Eagle Point Police Department

A bandit was trying to steal a woman’s bicycle from a rack outside the Eagle Point store, so the champion bull rider mounted his horse, aptly named Long John, and chased down the thief.

The alleged thief, Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, 23, struggled with the bike’s gears and abandoned it before setting off on foot, but Borba soon caught up.

The cowboy did what came naturally and tossed his lasso around the man’s legs, dragging him to the ground.


The hero and Long John kept Arellano-Sanchez secure until the police arrived. He was later arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft.

The cowboy hero told the Medford Mail-Tribune he grew up competing in rodeos, but now works as a ranch hand and a rancher.

“I use a rope every day, that’s how I make my living. If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good,” Borba said.

News break – June 13