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Drunken Man on Horse Leads Police on Chase, Police Video Shows

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on October 02, 2012 9:47 AM

An allegedly drunken man on horseback literally hoofed it when he led police on a slow-speed chase through the streets (and lawns) of a Florida town.

But the Paul Revere wannabe didn't make it very far. Charles Cowart's gallant attempt to gallop away to freedom has instead rustled up a fistful of criminal charges, the Associated Press reports.

Cowart, 29, of Bushnell, Fla., told police he'd hopped onto a horse to ride to his grandmother's house. But someone called police to say Cowart himself was hopped up on alcohol.

It's not clear what made the tipster call the cops. (Was the horse swerving or on the wrong side of the road?) But when a Bushnell police officer ordered Cowart to get off from his high horse, the allegedly intoxicated man refused.

Cowart then reared the horse back "in an aggressive manner" and quickly galloped away, police told the AP. (As Charlie Sheen might say, "Whinny-ing!")

Police, however, didn't immediately pursue Charles Cowart or his horse, out of concern for the public -- and for the horse. When cops eventually caught up with Cowart again, they turned their cruiser lights on, but not their sirens.

Horses can be frightened by police sirens, officers told the AP.

As the chase continued, Cowart allegedly ignored repeated verbal orders to dismount. After about 30 minutes -- perhaps the horse got tired and slowed down, or perhaps chafing was an issue -- Cowart ditched his faithful steed and high-tailed it with his own two feet.

Police soon captured Cowart and took him to jail. The horse was returned to Cowart's relatives and is doing fine.

You can watch part of the chase in this video report by Jacksonville's WJXT-TV:

Cowart, however, faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and even cruelty to animals, the AP reports. If convicted, he could potentially face jail time and fines.

There's no word yet, however, about any DUI charges, which could come from drunken horseback-riding, as one unlucky man in Kentucky recently found out. But in Cowart's case, news reports don't indicate if police conducted a blood-alcohol test when he was arrested; if not, it's likely too late, as that horse has already left the barn.

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