Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WILLIAMS AZ - A CARRIAGE DRIVER AT THE GRAND CANYON RAILWAY HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT "FELT THAT THERE WAS A THREAT OF A DOG COMING AFTER HIS HORSE" AND HE PULLED OUT HIS GUN AND ACCIDENTLY FIRED IT HITTING A BOY, 6, IN THE LEG

(AP) -
A 6-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the leg by a man driving a horse-drawn carriage in northern Arizona on Friday.
The Williams Police Department told The Arizona Daily Sun that the child was shot at the Grand Canyon Railway historic train depot by a driver for Cowboy's Service Carriage Company.
The driver "felt that there was a threat of  A DOG  coming after his horse, so he pulled out his revolver and cocked it,"  said Police Chief Herman Nixon.
Nixon said the 29-year-old driver, identified as Joshua VanWinkle, seemed to have fired the gun accidentally while trying to put the gun back in its holster.
The boy was shot once in the right leg above the knee. He underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, Nixon said.
"He's doing fine at this point," he said.
Nixon said officials are still investigating the incident.
VanWinkle was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct with a weapon and child endangerment. Cowboy's Service Carriage Company declined to comment about the shooting.
The dog and horse were uninjured.



2 comments:

Dayna Hamilton said...

Really unfortunate. The "dog" probably was a threat.

Anonymous said...

I drive in competitive carriage events (CDE's) as well as ride and an aggressive dog is a MUCH greater risk to a carriage horse, driver and passenger than it is to a horse and rider.

Why? First of all, most carriage horses in the US and the UK wear blinders to reduce the risk of them spooking and bolting with the carriage. This means that if the dog isn't practically in front of the horse, the horse cannot see it to protect itself with a well aimed kick. Second, a carriage is much less maneuverable than a horse by itself and it's not safe at all to try to outrun a dog with one, so the driver can only hope to calm the horse if it's attacked, and pray the horse doesn't get bitten and spooked. Third, if the horse does spook and bolt, you'd better hope you're on level ground without any obstacles because a panicked horse will try to go through or over anything, basically destroying the carriage and throwing passengers every which way, and if the horse heads toward a busy road, well, you can figure out what might happen if it can only see directly in front of it.

Things are not pretty for a horse that obeys its training and stands its ground either. Without the ability to run away or land a kick, the driver can only hold the horse in place while the friendly little doggie chews hunks out of it.

Is it any wonder they driver pulled a gun? I'm very, very sorry for the boy what was shot. I wish the driver had a friend with him to get down and try to take care of the dog.