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Drunken man on horse arrested after chase

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POSTED: September 27, 2012 3:00 p.m.

BUNNELL, Fla. — A man was intoxicated while riding his horse as he led police on a half-hour chase through a northeast Florida town, authorities said Tuesday.

Charles Larkin Cowart, 29, was arrested Monday afternoon in the city of Bunnell, about 60 miles south of Jacksonville.

A police officer was responding to a report of “an intoxicated male riding a horse” when he turned on his emergency lights to stop traffic as Cowart crossed the street, according to the charging affidavit. Cowart refused officers’ orders to dismount and “in an aggressive manner reared the horse back” and took off running.

Officers did not immediately chase after him, the report said, citing the public and the horse’s safety. Cowart continued to ride through town, “causing a crowd of people to come out of their homes” and a train to slow down as Cowart crossed over railroad tracks. Police kept their emergency lights on, but did not use sirens to prevent the horse from being frightened and “potentially making the situation worse.”

Cowart ignored several verbal commands to get off the horse but eventually jumped off and ran. He was captured a short time later. The horse was returned to Cowart’s family and is doing fine, police said.

Cowart was booked into the Flagler County Jail on charges that included disorderly conduct, resisting arrest without violence and cruelty to animals. He was being held Tuesday on $7,000 bond.

 

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