Woman hurt after trying to grab tag worth $50 from steer's ear



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A woman injured by a steer during Volusia County's Cracker Day Rodeo on Saturday is recovering.

Desiree Cicero was participating in a "Grab the Tag" event, where the person attempts to retrieve a tag from a steer's ear in an effort to win $50.

Officials said the steer turned and charged Cicero, goring her in the arm and causing several injuries.

"It felt like getting hit by a bull. There's no other way to describe it," Cicero said.

The Cracker Day Rodeo event is an annual fundraiser for the Cattlemen's Association's scholarships.

John Weideman-Beal, a U.S. Marine, helped rescue Cicero, describing the terrifying moments to Channel 9.

"I didn't think about anything else but getting to her and making sure she was OK," said Weideman-Beal.

As he was helping Cicero, Weideman-Beal said he didn't even know the steer was coming back around for another trample, and he was pushed off her as it came over them.

"I asked if she was OK, and she wasn't coherent," he said. "I asked if she was OK, and she wasn't making a whole lot of sense. I said, 'You've got a hole in your arm. I'm going to put pressure on it and try to keep it from bleeding. Don't move.'"

The president of the event said people are aware of the risk when they get inside the bull ring.

Cicero suffered a broken rib, puncture wounds and a dislocated shoulder.

"It's rough knowing I was that close to having my life taken from me," Cicero said.

Weideman-Beal said he has enjoyed the event many times before, but this time was different.

"This is one of the most aggressive steers I've ever been in the ring with," he said.

Volusia County Fire Rescue transported the victim to Florida Hospital DeLand, where she was treated and released.

The incident happened about 1:20 p.m. Saturday and it did not affect the rest of the day's festivities, officials said.

According to an insurance expert, events like the rodeo normally have a policy that covers all the events of the weekend, including spectators. Participants are usually required to sign waivers acknowledging the risk they're taking.

It's unclear what coverage would apply to Cicero's injuries.

The Cattlemen's Association has not returned Channel 9's calls.