It’s not every day Langley RCMP have to go see a man about a horse, but such was the case on Saturday, July 29 when calls came pouring in to police about an intoxicated, belligerent rider in Campbell Valley Park.
“The first call we received was actually from park employees but several citizens and riders had encountered him and said he was obviously intoxicated,” said Langley RCMP spokesperson Craig Van Herk.
This took place before noon, he said.
People had noticed the suspect, a 48-year-old Langley man, was riding a horse that had a limp. When the injury was pointed out to the drunken horseman, he didn’t take being told what to do very well, said Van Herk.
“There are allegations he charged at other riders and walkers,” said Van Herk. Park employees were unable to get the man down from his horse or out of the park.
Police arrived at a portion of the the trail at 12 Avenue and 208 Street and were flagged down by several people who had encountered the rider.
Police followed leads from citizens as to the whereabouts of the rider.
“It took a bit to find him,” said Van Herk. Three officers found him and tried to get him to dismount, but he took off.
“We believe citizens on the trail managed to talk to him while police officers caught up. I don’t know how they convinced him to dismount,” he said.
“He was very intoxicated.”
The man was held in cells to sober up and handed a $100 fine for being drunk and disorderly. There is no criminal code offense for riding on a horse while drunk.
“A horse is not a vehicle so we have no criminal charge against it,” said Van Herk.
The Abbostford SPCA was called in to take the horse, which had been borrowed from a friend. It’s not known if the limp resulted from the drunken ride or if the horse had it before.
Police also found alcohol stored in the saddlebags.
“I’ve been a police officer for 14 years and we’ve seen a lot of people drunk before noon, but to get a drunk man off a horse, we don’t get a lot of calls about that,” said Van Herk.
There was a definite inherent risk for the officers who tried to get the belligerent man off the horse, he said.
The animal was returned to its owner.