KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman in the midst of the protests outside the rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 12 was arrested on Friday for abuse of a police service animal.
According to a police report, an officer mounted on horseback was involved in police crowd control outside the Midland Theatre when protesters began moving into the street and blocking traffic, approaching officers on foot. After police verbally instructed the protesters back onto the sidewalk, the crowd continued moving forward and mounted officers moved into position to block the crowd.
Police said that’s when the suspect, April J. Foster, 29, approached an officer and his horse, Dan, and began screaming in the horse’s face in an attempt to scare him. When that did not work, Foster reportedly slapped the horse in the face with an open hand.
After striking the horse, Foster fled toward the back of the crowd, where police were unable to apprehend her at the time.
The Kansas City Star reported that a photographer witnessed an incident of a woman slapping a police horse.
Steve Kraske: Protests like the one in Kansas City will dog Donald Trump for months #election2016 https://t.co/Y797Edj5S4
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) March 13, 2016
Police later received a tip via the TIPS hotline that led them to locating the suspect.
Foster was charged with abuse of a police service animal. She was released after posting $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on May 4.
PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch released a statement on the incident.
All animals feel pain, stress and fear just like we do, and they deserve our respect and protection. Horses are highly sensitive prey animals, and this poor horse was without a doubt already under a tremendous amount of stress as a result of the chaos, the crowds, the deafening noise of the angry protesters, and more. PETA commends the person who called the tip line so that this woman’s apparent cruelty to this horse does not go unpunished.
Police said there were four other arrests made in relation to the Trump protests, and although the situation became tense and pepper spray was used on the crowd, the protests were mostly free of large scale violence.