An Austin, Texas man was arrested Sunday morning and charged with a state jail felony after allegedly burning a police horse with a cigarette.
Tyrone Branch Jr., 23, reportedly began interfering with the police animal in the early hours of Sunday morning after drinking alcohol in the hours leading up to the confrontation.
Police were in the area around the city’s famous Sixth Street party district around 2:45 a.m. attempting to break up a crowd that became unruly after a woman was taken into custody when the incident occurred.
They claim Branch crushed his lit cigarette into the animal’s neck, according to Austin-based NBC affiliate KXAN-TV, causing the horse to react violently. He could face up to two years in jail.
This video is from KXAN-TV, aired Monday, July 22, 2013.
[Austin police horses during SXSW. Photo: Flickr user Mike McCaffrey, creative commons licensed.]