Three people have been charged criminally after slapping a Kingston, Ont. police horse during the annual Queen’s University homecoming celebration on Saturday.
Murney, the newest addition to the police service’s mounted unit, was on patrol with her partner Saturday afternoon when she was slapped multiple times.
Police said Murney was initially hit by the suspects at 2:55 p.m., then again five minutes later and a third time at around 3:30 p.m.
A woman was released at the scene and police are in the process of issuing a summons. Two men were arrested and brought to a police station where they were charged with causing injury to a law enforcement animal.
Police said if convicted, they could face a maximum fine of $10,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both.
In a brief video posted on Instagram Sunday, a woman is seen running up behind a horse and slapping it on the side. The horse can be seen reacting and kicking its left rear foot before the woman falls down and runs away.
Kingston Police weren’t able to confirm if criminal charges were laid against the woman seen in the video, but said Saturday’s incidents are concerning for police.
“It speaks to the danger of approaching a horse and striking it from behind,” Const. Steve Koopman told Global News.
“It could have been a much worse situation. The animal still kept its composure. Luckily the animal didn’t bolt and the officer wasn’t harmed.”