Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Chase on Horseback Ends in Commotion, Arrest

Charles Larkin Cowart, 29. Police photo.

You know the image of the valiant horseman, triumphantly galloping off into the sunset on his trusty steed, a damsel, no longer in distress, perched daintily behind him? Well, you’re not going to find that in Bunnell, Fla. Instead, there’s Charles Larkin Cowart, 29, who allegedly led police on a drunken half-hour chase  on horseback.

An officer responding to ”an intoxicated male riding a horse” Monday afternoon caught up with Cowart as he was crossing the street. According to the charging affidavit, Cowart told the officer that he was on his way to his grandmother’s house. When the officer told Cowart to dismount, Cowart allegedly did nothing of the sort and instead “in an aggressive manner reared the horse back” and took off at a hasty trot.

Out of concern for the safety of the public and the horse, police did not immediately start chasing after Cowart, the report states. Cowart’s ride through town caused “a crowd of people to come out of their homes” and forced a train to slow down in order to allow Cowart to cross railroad tracks. Not wanting to scare the horse, police kept their sirens and lights off, and continued to command Cowart to dismount. Cowart allegedly ignored these commands, and when the horse became exhausted, jumped off and and started running. He was caught, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest without violence, fleeing and eluding, and cruelty to animals. At the time of this writing, Coward is being held at Flagler county jail on $7,000 bond. The horse, who reportedly belongs to Cowart’s family, has been returned home and is doing well.

Earlier this month, on September 9, Cowart was arrested on a charge of petit theft.

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