A Wilmington Police officer and his 19-year-old horse named Elton were hit by a drunk-driving suspect early Saturday as they walked along a downtown street.
The officer wasn’t hurt, but Elton is being treated for a left-leg injury, police posted on Facebook with photos of their beloved horse.
“We are thankful that the human officer was not injured and we are praying for a quick recovery for our hard-working horse, Elton,” according to the Facebook post.
Mounted units — officers and their horses — were walking along South Front Street just before 2:30 a.m. when the driver came from behind and struck the officer and Elton as the driver tried to pass them, police said. Police didn’t name the officer.
Driver registered .19, police say
Police arrested 24-year-old Alexis Williamson and charged her with driving while impaired, improper passing and failure to reduce speed.
Williamson registered a blood/alcohol content of .19, police said. That’s more than twice the legal limit for driving in North Carolina, .08.
Williamson was jailed on a $3,000 unsecured bond given by a magistrate, police said.
The department’s animal programs have been around for more than 30 years, police Chief Donny Williams said on Facebook. Eight horses serve beside officers, including K9 and mounted units, he said.
‘Ensuring best medical care’
The horses “assume the same risks and many of the same challenges as their partners,” the chief said. “We are thankful that the human officer was not injured and we are praying for a quick recovery for our hard-working horse, Elton.
“We are ensuring he receives the best medical care and at the latest check, Elton is able to put weight on his injured leg,” Williams said. “This incredible Percheron has been with us for 16 years and we are grateful for his continued service.”
This story was originally published August 27, 2022 2:29 PM.
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