Missouri trooper says drunken man dragged horse behind his truck

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a drunken southwestern Missouri man badly injured a horse by dragging it behind his pickup truck until he was stopped by angry witnesses.

Sasha Martinez told KSPR that she, her daughter and a friend saw the horse tied to the pickup Saturday as it drove down the road next to their Wright County home at 15-20 mph. She said she thought it was odd, but hoped the driver was going to drop the horse off at a nearby home. Martinez said about two hours later, they saw the truck driving down the road going the opposite way. She said her 12-year-old daughter went out to the road and started hollering “Mom, the horse has dropped and he’s dragging her.”

Martinez said the driver wouldn’t stop until she stood in front of his truck and grabbed the grill.

When two Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrived, they found several people arguing with a man who was holding a horse with severe road rash injuries over most of its body, trooper J. Piccinino wrote in a probable cause statement. The horse’s bloody hoof prints and the drag marks indicated that it had been dragged and walked up and down the road for about one-half mile.

According to Piccinino’s statement, the truck’s driver, 63-year-old Curtis Campbell, said he was pulling the 15-year-old mare Fox Trotter with his truck to “train her.” When the trooper asked how the horse was injured, Campbell said it had laid down and he was trying to get her to stand up, but he said he didn’t drag the animal. When the trooper asked Campbell a second time how the horse was injured, he said it was hurt in a pasture and continued to deny that he had dragged it, Piccinino wrote.

Campbell, of Mountain Grove, was charged Thursday with animal abuse, driving while intoxicated and failing to register a motor vehicle.

The statement also said Campbell failed two blood-alcohol tests.

Campbell’s attorney, Joseph Passanise, said in a statement that Campbell, known as “Dowe,” has lived in the Wright County area of more than 30 years, has a reputation for being a kind and helpful neighbor and has no prior criminal record.

“This has been an unfortunate incident and (Campbell) is deeply ashamed for bring this kind of attention to himself, family and community,” Passanise said. “Animals have been a big part of his life and he has always treated animals with love and care. He would never intentionally or knowingly cause injury or suffering or fail to provide adequate care to result in substantial harm to an animal.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder said the injured horse was taken to a veterinarian in Mountain Grove. A woman who answered the phone there said the clinic could not provide information on the horse’s condition.