By RUSSELL KINSAUL
ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOV) — A bizarre confrontation at Ballpark Village last weekend was caught on video. Police tried to arrest a man who was riding a horse on the property of Ballpark Village and during the incident, an officer pulled out his weapon and pointed it at the rider.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is not releasing any details of what happened. But the department said it was aware of the incident and an internal investigation is ongoing. According to sources, an off-duty police officer who was working a secondary job providing security at Ballpark Village confronted a man who was riding a horse in the Together Credit Union Plaza area. The man who was riding bare-chested but not bare-backed refused to leave.
“I mean they wasn’t aggressive in any manner or rude or anything. People were petting the horses. And it was just something kind of different,” a witness who’s only going by his first name, Chris, said.
In the video, the officer walks toward the suspect and when the suspect appears to move the horse toward the officer, the officer can be seen pulling out his weapon and pointing it at the rider. Then the officer can be seen holstering his weapon and trying to pull the man from the horse, presumably to arrest him. But as the man resists, the officer pulls his weapon again.
“You can physically see that he’s holding onto the reins what seems like for dear life but I think, in my mind, the guy for one, doesn’t want his horse to run away and he doesn’t want anybody to get hurt,” Chris said.
According to sources, the officer had cause for concern because the rider on the horse had a big iron on his hip. Once the officer got the rider off the horse, he can be seen in the video continuing to resist. The video concludes with the suspect running away on foot, holding the reins of the horse as it trotted behind him.
Chris said if the officer had stayed calm and talked with the man, the situation wouldn’t have turned so potentially dangerous.
“I feel that situation escalated pretty quickly for no reason,” he said.
News 4 showed the video to some customers at Ballpark Village Tuesday night. “Curious how the horse got in the city,” said John Bland.
“I think it’s crazy,” said Darrell Olson.
“It’s also concerning when you see the police reaction to it as well. Seems like he could have handled that in a calmer way,” said Kevin Sticht.
Police didn’t say whether they eventually corralled the suspect and what happened to the horse.
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