Minneapolis Woman Slaps Police Horse





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Uploaded on Jun 1, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minneapolis woman is in jail, accused of assaulting a police horse at bar closing time.

Friday, Officer Jim Walker and his partner Winston had a pretty cushy assignment, standing amongst the lunchtime crowd across from City Hall. Walker says the police horses often draw attention, usually good, but on Thursday night another police horse was assaulted while working crowd control along 1st Avenue.

"If I'm on the horse, they don't want to fight the horse," Walker said. "People generally love the horses and they respect their size. They're intimidating."

That's the way its supposed to work. But according to police, two mounted officers were working the bar scene near 5th Street when Jessica Ricter, 23, reached passed four people and slapped the horse on its hindquarters, causing it to buck.

Walker says slapping a horse and causing it to spook poses a serious safety risk to the mounted officer, therefore it's considered an assault.

Ricter took off running, but was arrested about a block away. She was booked into the Hennepin County Jail and cited for assault of a police horse and fleeing police.

Police horses regularly go through sensitivity training to avoid being spooked by unfamiliar sights and sounds. But if you intentionally cause the rider to become unsteady, you could end up in jail.

"Generally, most people behave themselves and know better," Walker said. "But when you throw in a little alcohol and stupidity, they hit the horse, they don't think anything's going to happen."

The police hose and mounted officer were not injured.



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