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'He hit it once and then backed off and hit it harder a second time': St. Louis carriage company owner talks after suspect 'rammed' carriage downtown

The carriage company owner said the horse and driver are alright, and thanked police for arresting the suspect

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Carriage Company said their horse and driver are alright after being "rammed" by a truck downtown over the weekend.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the intersection of 9th Street and Olive Street on Saturday to investigate after a man with a white pickup truck allegedly rammed the rear end of a horse carriage multiple times.

Chris Carriker, owner of St. Louis Carriage Company, was not on the scene, but described the event as his driver recalled it.

"I don't know why the guy seemed angry or had an issue but he seemingly intentionally hit the back of the carriage. He hit it once and then backed off and hit it harder a second time. Did a little bit of damage to the carriage, had a couple of passengers in the carriage and then the driver.

"The horse, it got pushed up into him, but it wasn't like the carriage really hit him. There's a thing called the breaching, it's a leather strap that goes around their back that makes it to where they can push the carriage backwards and acts as the brakes. That's basically what got pushed up into Grayson (the horse)," Carriker said.

"(It) kind of clipped his leg because it probably made him trip a little so he probably stepped on his own foot. But other than that he seems to be OK. He hasn't been back into the city that I know of, but when we take him out we'll probably hook him up to a team just to walk him around just so he's not panicked to keep him calm," she said.

RELATED: Man arrested after 'ramming' horse carriage with truck in downtown St. Louis

Police were able to find the suspect at the intersection of North 11th Street and Locust Street where he was arrested. The 37-year-old man could be charged with three counts of assault and one count of animal abuse.

"From what I understand the police caught him. I know everyone that was there, people chased him. ... People called the cops. I didn't find out till yesterday that they actually had caught him. And that's because other people had called and said, 'Hey they caught that guy.' I didn't really believe it to tell you the truth," Carriker said.

"It's actually pretty amazing. Once they do something like that you never expect to see it. So somehow police officers in the right place at the right time did an amazing job and caught him."

Carriker had some advice for anyone driver downtown amongst the horse-drawn carriages.

"Just act natural around them. Just drive like you normally would. Sorry they're a little slow. Just go around them, we don't mind and the horses don't mind the cars," Carriker said.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office is investigating and will review the case.

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