In St. Petersburg, Florida a woman was arrested when she allegedly slapped a police horse while it was ridden by a mounted policeman. According to a Bay News 9 article, the mounted policeman was trying to help control a crowd near Durty Nelly’s Bar, at about 3 AM. The crowd was ordered to disband. The woman was arrested and charged with police horse battery for allegedly slapping the nose of the horse. The crowd must have been rather rowdy, because the friend she was waiting on was late because he had been tased by the police.
The woman gave her version of the incident to the TV station. She said she did not slap the horse. Quoting the article, “‘A horse was literally right in my face all of a sudden, so I put my hand up into his face as a reaction,’ she said. ‘They’re saying I slapped this horse when that’s not the case. I was basically getting it out of my face. I just moved his face out of my face, I did not hit him.”‘
Battery of a police horse is seemingly an extremely rare crime, but a Minneapolis woman was arrested on the identical charge. According to a Minneapolis Fox 9 News Video, the woman slapped the horse sharply on the rump, causing it to rear. The You Tube video may be viewed on this Barn Mice website. This was a dangerous crime, because if the policeman had not been well-trained and alert, he could have fallen off and been seriously injured.
The woman who slapped the horse ran for about a block before being arrested. I have no idea why this would appear to be a feminine crime. I googled the crime and found very few incidents.
This USA Today article tells the story of the demise of mounted police units. Horses are ideal for crowd control because they can operate in areas too small for police cars. Horses are large animals and their greatest value in crowd control is their impressive “intimidating” presence. Officers are also safer in their elevated position and have a better perspective of the situation.
Due to budget restrictions mounted police units are gradually being disbanded. In the last 10 years, U.S. cities with mounted police units, have suffered a 2/3 decline. Baltimore, temporarily postponed the loss of their unit by accepting donations of about $100,000 from a public that sincerely loves horses. About 100 cities still have mounted police units.
This brings to mind the 1970’s TV Series, “McCloud.” A Marshal from New Mexico, Sam McCloud, played by Dennis Weaver, was on “special assignment” to the New York Police Force. The sight of McCloud riding his horse at a full gallop down a New York street chasing the bad guys was awesome. You may check him out on this Wikipedia website, “McCloud (TV Series).”
St. Petersburg still has a mounted police unit and I was surprised when my wife observed 2 mounted policemen in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Bradenton, Florida. Like many citizens, I love horses and hope they can long survive as 4-legged police officers.
Jeff Martin/?Mounted Police Fading in Sunset”/USA Today
“Bay News 9/”St.Petersburg Woman Accused of Slapping Police Horse”/Bay News 9
Michael Matson/”Woman Arrested for Slapping Police Horse”/Barn Mice You Tube Minneapolis Fox 9
Wikipedia/”McCloud (TV Series)”/Wikipedia