Horse owner makes daring rescue attempt when animals stolen

Crime: Animals receive scrapes, bruises from incident

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Friday, Jul 11, 2014 03:38 pm

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A horse owner went to daring lengths after his truck and trailer with three rodeo horses in it were stolen in Black Diamond early this morning.

The owner wound up hanging on to the side of a speeding truck, pleading with the thief for fear of the safety of his horses before eventually being thrown from the vehicle.

Sometime after midnight on July 9 a truck and trailer with three horses in it were stolen from out front of the Black Diamond Hotel.

When the owner came out to find the truck was gone, RCMP were called in to search for the truck and animals.

“Surrounding detachments in Okotoks and High River came out to help us and some of our community peace officers were in the area and they helped,” said Turner Valley RCMP Cpl. Terry Hamelin. “We were going as far down as Indian Graves and up towards Priddis and out towards Okotoks just to try to cut off all routes of access… The owner found him first.”

While police were conducting their search, the truck's owner saw the vehicle and trailer in Black Diamond and confronted the suspect in an attempt to reason with him out of fear for injuries to the horses.

The owner climbed on the side rail of the truck and the suspect drove off with the owner still hanging on. The suspect crashed into a barrier, throwing the owner to the ground.

The truck and trailer were found abandoned in Turner Valley a short time later. The horses were still in the trailer, but were, nervous and all three sustained cuts and bruises from being thrown around inside the trailer.

An RCMP police service dog was called out to the scene and an individual was located and arrested.

The horses – Dave, HYTY and Snap – are all used in roping or steer wrestling competitions. They will have to be removed from competition temporarily due to their injuries.

The owner was injured but is still participating in events at the Calgary Stampede.

RCMP say it's only by sheer luck that no there was no loss of life or more severe injuries in this case.

Hamelin said understands what would drive someone to go to such lengths to protect their horses.

“I'm a dad and if someone had my kid I would go after them,” he said. “I know for a lot of these cowboys, the animals they work with, the horses and what not, are like family to them and are their livelihood.”

However, Hamelin said RCMP don't recommend people put themselves at risk and confront someone who is in the process of committing a crime.

Turner Valley resident Joshua Lemire, 23, is facing a number of charges in relation to the incident, including theft of a truck, theft over $5000.00, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, endangering animals. He also faces two counts of failing to remain at the scene of an accident, one of which is criminal and one is a charge laid under provincial statutes.


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