Man slaps police horse on butt at 2 a.m. — and it didn’t end well, Florida cops say

A police horse named Brooklyn has been named the victim in an unusual battery case, after it was slapped for no apparent reason in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The incident happened just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the intersection of Central Avenue and Third Street North, the department reported in an affidavit.

Two officers were patrolling the area on horseback when one reported seeing a man approach with one hand raised, the report states.

“The defendant walked up behind my partner who was also riding a police horse. ... I observed the defendant then with his open hand slap the rear of my partner’s police horse,” the report states.

“The defendant immediately looked at officers and stated that he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to hit the horses.”

The suspect was arrested and identified as a 27-year-old man from Odessa, about 40 miles north, officials said. He was unarmed and not intoxicated, the report notes.

He has been charged with battery on a police horse, according to the affidavit. The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, and applies to anyone who “intentionally maliciously touches, strikes, or causes bodily harm to a police canine, fire canine, SAR canine, or police horse,” according to the state legislature.

Brooklyn, the horse involved in the incident, is a 1,400-pound Percheron “thoroughbred cross gelding,” who was born in 2003.

“He mainly works in the downtown district (and) is currently one of three horses in the Dept.’s Mounted Patrol Unit,” police officials said. “He was a mounted patrol horse with the Boston Police Dept. until he was donated to St. Petersburg Police in 2009.”

A similar incident occurred in Orlando in 2017, when a man from Pace, Florida, “slapped a police horse on the hindquarters while it was on patrol,” The Associated Press reported.

The suspect in that case was arrested and “charged with injuring a police horse, resisting arrest without violence and cocaine possession,” it was reported. The outcome of the case was not reported.

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