CHARLESTON, S.C. — A woman wearing an orange dinosaur suit who spooked carriage horses in South Carolina has turned herself into authorities, CBS affiliate WCSC-TV reports.
Nicole Wells, 26, surrendered to police in downtown Charleston around 9:30 a.m. Friday morning. She has been charged with disorderly conduct and wearing a mask or disguise, according to a Charleston Police Department statement. Wells was cited and released.
Carriage driver Van Sturgeon told WCSC-TV that a detective told him the woman turned herself in, but he admitted that he did not know what the “disorderly conduct” and “wearing a mask or disguise” charges were.
The incident took place Thursday around 5:30 p.m. when a person wearing a Tyrannosaurs Rex costume approached a horse drawn carriage in the area of Church and Linguard Street. Wells began growling at the horses, scaring them, according to the police statement. Police say the horses began backing up and the carriage struck an unoccupied vehicle, causing minor damage to its bumper.
“Perhaps she did not realize what a threat that appeared to be to my animals, but they responded remarkably well,” Sturgeon told the station.
The police report says Sturgeon lost his balance and fell off the carriage. He was transported to a local hospital for his injuries. Sturgeon says he suffered a bruise and a broken bone in his left foot.
None of the horses or passengers were injured at the scene.
Tommy Doyle, Manager of Palmetto Carriage Works, says that animal rights activists are creating a dangerous environment for carriage horses. “The City of Charleston needs to condemn these tactics and warn groups that encourage this behavior that their rhetoric is fueling this danger,” he said.
Before Wells turned herself in, the Charleston Animal Society had offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“If [the reports are] true, we view this as animal cruelty and it is not only unacceptable, but also against the law,” Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said. “If it was intentional, I’ll double it.”
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