A New Braunfels man who said he was reclaiming his horses after a domestic dispute is facing animal cruelty charges after he tied two of them to his truck on Thursday and drove down a busy road while a third horse followed, authorities said.
Guadalupe County Pct. 1 Constable deputy Christopher Szymanski reported seeing the truck and horses about 1 p.m. as he was heading north on FM 725 near Zipp Road with the truck traveling south at about 15 miles per hour, Pct. 1 Constable James Springer said.
“Two of the horses were actually tied to the truck — one on each side,” he said. “A third horse was following on this extremely busy road.”
After Szymanski attempted to stop the truck, the driver refused, continuing south, until he reached a home near Rolling Fork Drive, Springer said.
Springer said his deputy used only his lights and verbal commands after pulling up next to the truck, to avoid scaring the horses.
The driver reportedly told officers he was re-claiming his two horses following a dispute, Springer said.
“He put lead ropes on two of these horses, attached them to his truck and is leading these horses south on FM 725 taking them to the home of a relative,” he said.
And the third horse?
“The third horse he stated was not his and just followed him.”
Springer said during the mile-and-a-half long trek, the untethered horse ran into a mailbox and cut one of its legs.
The driver of the pickup, later identified as 33-year-old Fabian Athaude, of New Braunfels, also ran one of the horses into a patrol car, Springer said.
Athaude was arrested and booked into Guadalupe County Jail on charges of cruelty to livestock animals neglect/overwork, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, and reckless damage or destruction.
He was also cited for impeding traffic. He has since been released on bonds totaling $12,000.
The horses were picked up by the other owner, and one was taken to the vet to get checked out.