Minneapolis police arrested a 22-year-old man they say punched a police horse during bar close over the weekend.
According to police, several officers on horseback were patrolling along N. 4th Street, between 1st and 2nd avenues, shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday. Without provocation, the suspect ran up to one of the horses and punched it, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Michal. He was quickly caught by officers on foot.
“This was extremely dangerous for the horse, the rider and the person that is assaulting the horse,” Michal said on Tuesday.
Police later tweeted that neither the rider nor the animal, named Indigo, were injured.
Before he was handcuffed, the suspect struggled with officers, who used force to subdue him, according to the arrest report.
Attacks on the department’s horses are rare. Michal said she couldn’t think of another instance in which a horse was assaulted, adding that in one case last year a man tried to burn a police horse with a cigarette, but was stopped by officers.
The suspect, who is from Minneapolis, has not yet been charged. He was booked into the Hennepin County jail on suspicion of fourth-degree assault, but released seven hours later. He is set to appear in court on Nov. 9.