A piglet on the lam. An escaped mini pig leads police in California city on a frenzied pursuit

Pickles the piglet made a daring escape last week that sparked a frenzied pig pursuit through the streets of Sebastopol, a quiet city north of San Francisco.

The miniature piglet's new owner, Mattie Scariot, had just picked him up last Wednesday and was driving him to his new home when the pig made his brilliant getaway. First he needed a distraction. So he pooped in the backseat.

As Scariot cleaned up the mess with a napkin, Pickles ran for freedom through an open car door.

"He didn't run out. He like leaped out. He shot out of the car," said Scariot, who had just received her new pet pig from its previous owners. She bought Pickles to provide company for her dog, Biscuit. Pickles is a gray pig with black spots, about a foot long.

The escape became a ruckus, involving about 20 people, including six Sebastopol police officers, a farmer, three businessmen and a gaggle of children who all got into the porker pursuit.

Read more: Letters to the Editor: Animal rights activists are overwhelmingly women. That doesn't reflect well on men

One man tried to catch the piglet with a large fishing net — to no avail. Another tried to throw a tarp over Pickles but it was a no-go.

Body camera footage recorded by one of the officers on the scene shows police and locals trying and failing to catch the slippery animal as he skittered around the street like a crafty running back dodging tacklers.

"Officers arrived and located the described piglet who…… proved to be very fast and strong for an animal of its size," the Sebastopol Police Department said in a Facebook post with some video of Pickles' exploits. The department added that officers decided not to charge Pickles with resisting a police officer. "Instead, we felt it was beneficial to just admonish 'Pickles' for running from officers!"

While it was happening, Scariot struggled to see the comedy in the situation. There was a highway nearby and Scariot was nervous Pickles might zip into the fast lane and get hit by a car. She also felt bad for stirring up trouble in Sebastopol.

"'This can’t be happening. How is this happening?'" she asked herself. "I felt so bad for the police officers. I said, 'Have you ever had to chase a pig before?' And one officer said, 'No, this is my first time.'"

But after about 30 minutes of scampering by the pig, a good Samaritan was finally able to bring Pickles into custody and Scariot took him home.

"He’s determined, that’s for sure," Scariot said of her little pig. "We’re just totally in love with him. I'm glad it all worked out."

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.