News

Colorado man reined in for drunken horseback ride

Colorado man reined in for drunken horseback ride

Photo: clipart.com

(Reuters) – A Colorado man riding a horse to his brother’s wedding 600 miles away in Utah was arrested for drunken driving, animal cruelty and other charges after witnesses reported him blocking traffic and hitting his horse, police said on Tuesday.

Patrick Schumacher, 45, was taken into custody in Boulder on Monday afternoon by University of Colorado police after officers found him visibly intoxicated, police spokesman Ryan Huff said.

Huff said Schumacher was cooperative but failed a field sobriety test and a search of his saddle bag turned up a small pistol and several beer cans. A small pug dog named Bufford was found in his backpack.

“This is pretty unusual,” Huff said. “It’s probably the first time in department history that we have pulled someone over for driving under the influence while on a horse.”

Schumacher was arrested on misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty, prohibited use of weapons and reckless endangerment, as well as drunken horseback riding, which is a traffic infraction.

He has yet to be formally charged by prosecutors, Huff said, and is due in court October 31.

When asked by officers why he hit the horse, Schumacher said that he was swatting a fly on its head, Huff said. Witnesses had told police that the horse was rearing up in traffic.

Schumacher’s horse, named Dillon, and his dog were sheltered overnight by the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. The pistol was held as evidence.

Schumacher was released from custody late Monday night and was reunited with Dillon and Bufford on Tuesday morning, Huff said.

Shortly thereafter, he rode off on the horse, with Bufford in his backpack, telling officers that he was again en route to his brother’s wedding in Bryce, Utah, Huff said.

Schumacher told police that he’d lost his driver’s license, so he decided to make the trip to his brother’s wedding on horseback, Huff said.

“We took him at his word,” Huff said.

Recent Headlines

16 hours ago in National

White House seeks $1.8B in emergency funds for Zika virus

zikavirus

The World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency over the rapidly spreading virus.

21 hours ago in National

Gas prices continue to drop

gas

The average price of gasoline has dropped 8 cents over the past two weeks, to $1.82 a gallon.

22 hours ago in Sports

Zika fears prompt Olympic concerns

zika

The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.

22 hours ago in National, World

North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbors, U.S.

22-overlay-3

North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear bomb test.

22 hours ago in National

Chipotle stores to open later on Monday for worker meeting

chipotle

Don't plan on getting a burrito for lunch today - every Chipotle location in America will be closed this morning for a food safety meeting.