Police Horses Harassed During Fight; Mount Tucker Punched Multiple Times

Police Horses Harassed During Fight; Mount Tucker Punched Multiple Times
Two of the OCPD's horses are pictured leading a Torch Run for Special Olympics Maryland last year. File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — It was a tough night last weekend for the Ocean City Police Department’s mounted units, which were repeatedly touched and harassed while helping to break up a large fight outside a resort nightclub.

Around 1:20 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean

City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area around a nightclub on 17th Street for a reported fight. OCPD officers observed a suspect, later identified as Daniel Martinez-Rivera, exit the nightclub and attempt to get inside the perimeter of the fight where OCPD officers were making arrests, according to police reports.

Martinez-Rivera was reportedly told multiple times to get back and away from the officers making arrests, but did not comply. An OCPD mounted officer on his horse Tucker attempted to move Martinez-Rivera away from the scene, but the suspect reportedly touched the horse’s face. After being told not to touch the police horse, Martinez-Rivera reportedly struck Tucker in the face three more times including once in the eye and also grabbed the leather straps on the horse’s face.

According to police reports, Tucker reacted to being struck to the point the mounted officer was having difficulty bringing the animal back into control. Between Tucker’s large size and the fact the incident was occurring on a narrow sidewalk in the middle of the large group of agitated people next to a busy Coastal Highway, the horse’s reaction to being struck posed safety hazards to himself, the mounted officer and everyone else in the area, according to police reports.

Another OCPD officer walked over to Martinez-Rivera, who was now standing in the bus lane and shouting obscenities at the police. When the officer got close, Martinez attempted to run away and was tackled into the travel lane of Coastal Highway and was nearly struck by a passing taxi cab. Martinez-Rivera was arrested and charged with obstructing and hindering police officers, resisting arrest, intentionally inflicting physical harm on an OCPD animal and intoxicated endangerment.

During the same incident, OCPD officers were still actively battling with combatants in the fight when a a suspect, later identified as Jordan Flores-Joseph, 21, of Yonkers, N.Y. approached the scene. The mounted OCPD officer walked his horse Tucker between Flores-Joseph and the fight scene in an effort to keep him away.

Flores-Joseph did back away from the scene, but moved to another area and continued to scream expletives at the officers on the scene. According to police reports, he screamed at the police and told them if they touched him, he would sue for $1.5 million. He also yelled at the mounted officer “You’re on a [expletive deleted] horse bro,” and “Why don’t you have a car?”

While OCPD officers made other arrests in the fight, Flores-Joseph again attempted to move back into the area and was again pushed back by the mounted unit Tucker. He was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey lawful orders.

Yet another suspect, identified as Abigail Kenly, 27, of Howard, Pa., was arrested during the incident for touching OCPD mount Benson. As the fight was being broken up and arrests were being made, Kenly reportedly walked right up to the mounted officer and Benson and touched the horse on the face.

Kenly was warned not to touch Benson repeatedly, but continued to touch the horse’s face. When she was told if she continued to touch the horse, she would be arrested, Kenly walked away but patted Benson three times on the side as she did so. Kenly was arrested and charged with obstructing and hindering an officer and willfully touching an OCPD animal after being told not to do so.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.