For the second time in two weeks, a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan, Andrew Tornetta, 19, of North Wales, Pennsylvania, hit a Mounted Police horse and a State Police Officer (Corporal) in a fit of rage during a tailgating party only hours prior to the game where Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings on January 21st.
Reports say six police officers were called to a riot scene at one of Lincoln Financial Field’s parking lot M. As the officers were dispersing the crowd, Tornetta decided to punch the horse twice in the right shoulder with his fist and proceeded to hit the Corporal in the face. The officer was left with swelling under his right eye.
How did Tornetta end up shirtless? While the officer was escorting Tornetta out of the parking lot, he refused to listen to commands so the officer pulled at his jacket. The jacket came off and Tornetta then wriggled out of his sweatshirt. Tornetta was eventually arrested and charged with aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangering and related offenses, Philadelphia police said. No animal cruelty charges were levied against him.
This incident comes on the heels of Taylor Hendricks, 22, Whitehall, PA, repeatedly punching a Police horse and Officer when he was ejected from the Eagles game against the Atlanta Falcons after causing a drunken disturbance and when he was found to not have a ticket for the game. As the angry Hendricks left the Linc, he repeatedly punched the Police horse and Officer. He was charged with aggravated assault, illegally taunting a police animal, simple assault and defiant trespass but no animal abuse charges.
What started the fight/riot prior to the NFC Championship game remains unclear. Here is footage from that incident. Some may find the language offensive.
Hitting police horses isn’t confined to men. April Foster was arrested for slapping a police horse in March 2016 outside of a Donald Trump rally. She originally screamed at the horse. Foster was charged with abuse of a police service animal.
What prompts people to believe they’re allowed to hit, punch or slap police horses? No matter how one attempts to rationalize this bizarre behavior, it is abuse. It is also assaulting a police officer. It is a basic lack of respect for animals and people on their part whether they’re drunk or not. Hitting any animal is unacceptable but to do so with so much rage makes me question how they handle situations in general. Perhaps, families of these perpetrators should be checked as well as their pets.
I’m disappointed neither Eagles’ fan was charged with animal abuse especially Hendricks. He repeatedly punched that horse! Police horses are remarkable animals and are known for their calm demeanors. Horses can seriously harm or kill people. Police dogs are also trained to remain calm until their human partners give them commands to go after suspects.
I believe the judge in Newcastle, U.K. got it right by giving the abuser a twelve-month sentence. I think the judges in the current Philadelphia horse punching cases should use this case as a reference. People have to learn animal abuse will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances!
The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Sunday, February 4th. The Eagles haven’t been in the Super Bowl since 2005 and have never won a Super Bowl. Let’s hope the fans keep themselves in check on both sides. And whomever loses, let’s hope the fans can accept defeat without involving violence.
Tina Evangelista-Eppenstein is a television talk show host, speaker, writer and is an unabashed animal advocate. Her love for animals and quest for the hard truth is what drives her passion for all things animals. She hosts the show, ” A Close-Up Look at Animal Welfare Issues.” She adores her once-abused tripawd, Brody. If you’d like Tina to talk to your group or have a story, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like https://www.facebook.com/ACloseUpLookAtAnimalWelfareIssues and check out AnimalWelfareIssues.com for all the tv shows, articles, and podcasts you may have missed!