The Smith County Sheriff's Department is praying for one of their own this morning as a deputy undergoes surgery for massive head trauma sustained while trying to move stray cows from Farm-to-Market Road 344 near Bullard early today.
Britton, who has been with the department since 1992, was tossed into the air, landing on his head on the pavement.
"As I understand it, the cow continued its assault on the deputy as he lay helpless on the ground," the sheriff said.
Smith said doctors at East Texas Medical Center have placed Britton in critical condition, and are guarded about his chances for recovery. Smith said, "We're all praying for him."
A report indicates a caller phoned 911 to inform deputies several cows were laying in the roadway in a curve.
The deputy responded to the area prior to 1 a.m. and was injured a short time later.
Smith's staff also responded when another deputy, Josh Caulkins, was shot while assisting a U.S. Marshal task force.
The task force was serving a fugitive warrant at an apartment complex on Chimney Rock Drive just before midnight.
Caulkins has been released from the hospital after being struck in the chest with a shotgun blast.
Smith said Caulkins, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, suffered powder burn injuries to his arms, and severe bruising in the chest.
"The blast was so close that he actually has powder burns on his arms," Smith said.
The suspect is being held in a local hospital after he told authorities he had overdosed on narcotics.
Updated Thursday, March 25, 2001 at 10:12 a.m. CDT