A suburban Dallas man who tried to elude police on horseback was hit with a stun gun after leading police officers on a short chase through a residential neighborhood Sunday night, Mesquite police say.[[331138382,R]]
Mesquite police said an off-duty officer working security at an amateur rodeo event called for backup at about 9 p.m. after a fight broke out at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo arena.
After five backup officers arrived, one man was arrested at the scene while two others tried to escape on horseback, police said.
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“I bet they thought,'There are police here, and we’re drunk, and we don’t want to go to jail, and there are horses here.' So they got on the horses and left. It’s that simple,” said Lt. Brian Parrish, with the Mesquite Police Department. “I think the main contributing factor in all of this was their level of intoxication. The horses were the only form of transportation they had available."
Moments later a Mesquite officer searching a nearby neighborhood spotted the men, still on horseback, walking slowly. When the men spotted the officer's red and blue lights, one of the riders turned around, got down from his horse and surrendered -- the other rider continued on before putting the horse into a trot and then into a gallop.
Mesquite police released dashcam video that showed the officer pursue the rider down the residential street and the rider galloping down the road. When the officer's spotlight hit the rider, he made an abrupt turn into an alley, throwing sparks from the horse's shoes.
The man, police said, was later found walking down the street and his horse stashed in a back yard.
"I think being on horseback and trying to evade police gives you somewhat of a small advantage. You’re not going to have a whole lot of officers that’ll keep up with you in their car, or on foot. But we didn’t give up," Parrish said.
Police said in a statement that the man, identified as 33-year-old Francisco Torres, resisted arrest and was disabled with the stun gun. He was charged with evading arrest, disorderly conduct, failure to identify himself and public intoxication.
The rider who stopped and turned around, 27-year-old Aaron Ibarra, was cited for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, police said.
“This is the first one I can remember where it’s suspects fleeing on horseback," Parrish said. "I think this is the first for all of us."
The man arrested at the rodeo, 31-year-old Macario Andrade, of Seagoville, was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
All of the charges faced by the men are misdemeanors, police said.
NBC 5's Jeff Smith contributed to this report.