Man admits kicking police horse

Police say man let out battle cry before kick, but horse wasn't fazed

By By KPTV Web Staff
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A man accused of blurting out a battle cry and delivering a jumping kick to a police horse will spend 15 days in jail.

Joseph Cruz, 29, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to interfering with a law enforcement animal in Portland, Oregon. Cruz was arrested in July near Northwest Sixth Avenue and Hoyt Street.

Police said Mounted Patrol Unit officers were talking to a group of people when Cruz ran up to the horse named Olin, yelled out a "karate-like" battle cry and jump-kicked the horse's right thigh.

Cruz had an outstanding arrest warrant at the time, according to Portland police.

He originally faced additional charges of disorderly conduct and tampering with a police animal, but those charges were dropped when he pleaded guilty in court Wednesday.

Along with 15 days in jail, Cruz was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment.

Police said Olin wasn't fazed by Cruz's kick. The animal outweighed the suspect by about 1,000 pounds.

Officers said police horses go through extensive "nuisance training" so they're prepared for any sudden situation while on patrol, including attacks.