We've unleashed our intern on some weird horse news! Here's a word from Mary Beth:

My, my, my, what is the world coming to? Orange Floridian alligators, two-year-old drag queens ("Toddlers and Tiaras" reference, holla!), and drunken women slapping police horses? Enough is clearly enough, people.


The hand that slaps might be the hand that's cuffed.

If you're anything like me, you'll find the recent report concerning St. Petersburg, Fla. resident Stephanie Six's alleged assault on a police horse nothing less than absurd. While mounted police were controlling a crowd outside a bar in St. Petersburg, Fla., Six allegedly struck a police horse and was subsequently arrested, jailed for 12 hours, and charged with battery on a police horse. She denies that she struck the horse intentionally, explaining in one article that the horse was "literally right in [her] face all of a sudden" and she just reacted by putting a hand in the horse's face. Another article quotes her as saying the horse "had me pinned up against the wall."

I can just picture the scene. Six stumbles out of a bar in downtown St. Petersburg only to find herself confronted by a large furry creature ten times her size. What does she do? Why, what any unsuspecting, non-horsey gal would--she defends herself! Left hook! Right hook! Pow! Smash! ...Not so much.

According to the reports of police officers at the scene, Six slapped poor "Silver." (I'm only assuming this is the assaulted equine's moniker.) Apparently, she also pushed the horse with her other hand. No doubt the horse was not only hurt but extremely offended by the assault. He probably even took a step backwards.

In all seriousness, Six shouldn't have hit the horse. He was only doing his job. But I doubt the woman was thinking, "This horse-cop is gonna get it!" According to her statement, she only touched him because she was surprised to suddenly find an equine head so close to her face. It's understandable, considering she had just exited a downtown bar at 2:00 in the morning. Would you be prepared for equine encounter in such a state? I think not.

But considering that the altercation apparently happened while police were actively controlling crowds after bar closing time (which normally isn't needed when everyone's behaving!), one must consider the possibility that the incident wasn't as innocent as Six says.

Under Florida law, striking or causing harm to a police dog, fire dog, or police horse is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison or a $1,000 fine. All that because little Six met big "Silver" in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel for Six--I honestly do. It's no doubt extremely embarrassing to be accused of assaulting an innocent animal. On the other hand, if you let her off the hook, how could you enforce the law against striking police/fire animals when someone strikes them with intent to harm?

I have to agree to some extent with writer Bryce Westervelt, who commented, "Six is the perfect example of 'nothing good ever happens at 2 in the morning.' "

So, now that you know what I think, let us know how you feel! Does Six deserve a year (or two or three) in jail, or should we let her off the proverbial hook?

Mary Beth Sekela is an English student at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., who enjoys reading, writing, and mouthing off in her free time. She will be studying abroad in Chile during the spring semester and cannot wait to see what the rest of the world has to offer!