Man Facing Charges After Punching Police Horse in Minneapolis

It's not the sort of crime anyone really expects. KMSP Reporter Jack Highberger has more from Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — A 22-year-old man is facing charges of assault after police say he attacked one of their own over the weekend.

“For someone to actually come up and strike one of our horses is fairly rare,” said Officer Corey Schmidt, who is with the Minneapolis Police Department.

It’s not the sort of crime anyone really expects, but in downtown Minneapolis, outside Pizza Luce at 2 a.m., punching a police horse suddenly became a real-life thing.

“As he ran by, he struck the back of the horse,” Officer Schmidt said. “Thankfully, the horse didn’t react.”

The “he” in this story, according to Minneapolis Police is 22-year-old Jacob Solberg.

Investigators say Solberg punched 12-year-old mare, Indy, in the rear end.

If the scrapes on Solberg’s face and the misdemeanors on his police report are any guide, a quiet slice of pizza, perhaps, would have been better.

“It starts off as a misdemeanor and if there is injury to the horse or the rider, it rises up to a felony,” Officer Schmidt explained.

The motivation behind the horse punch remains a bit murky.

Minneapolis Police say they’ve had no prior contact with Solberg.

Indy the horse, who outside of work prefers running, eating and generally being a kind creature, seems incapable of inciting violence.

“They are just like police officers and go through training to get a little more accustomed to those situations,” Officer Schmidt said.

Police say Solberg has a court appearance next week on assault charges.

They say Indy is part of the Mounted Patrol Unit, who is used for crowd control, search and rescue missions and as a crime deterrent.

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