Two women injured by horses at parade

June 30, 2009 6:40:47 AM PDT
A woman is speaking out after being stomped by a Houston police horse. Her injury was just one of two that happened at the Pride Houston Parade over the weekend. Another woman was trampled by a police horse. The first incident happened at the corner of Westheimer and Stanford. Spectators lined the sidewalks when suddenly one of the animals attacked.

Parade-goer Julie Young recalled, "I looked over and there's my friend on the ground and blood all over her."

Young was steps away from her friend Kirste Reimers, 50, when Reimers was trampled by a police horse during Saturday night's gay pride parade in Montrose.

"It took a while to get the horse off," Young said. "He was going over, over on top of her."

Reimers declined our requests for an interview because she says her face is embarrassing and painfully disfigured. Friends say her body is bruised and her teeth knocked out when her head slammed to the ground. A passerby caught the aftermath on video tape.

He said, "They just sat her down pretty much and started blotting her head with a cloth because her head was bleeding."

In the video you can clearly see the agitated horse still dangerously close to parade-goers.

On the same night Patricia Ochoa says a police horse backed into her at the pride parade. She was rushed to the emergency room with a swollen ankle the size of a tennis ball.

"That's the part that makes it so painful," Ochoa said. "Every time I think about the hoof pinching my foot I start shaking."

Neither woman received an apology from police.

Ochoa said, "Nobody said, 'Ma'am, let me help you. Ma'am, are you OK? Ma'am, do you need some assistance?"

That's what both women are upset about. Both say they are now on pain medication and want their medical bills and, in Reimers' case, plastic surgery, paid for.

A spokesperson with HPD didn't release an official statement but told Eyewitness News this was an unfortunate incident and that the horses were used to keep the parade route open on Westheimer. There is still discrepancy over whether or not police gave proper warning before the horses came in contact with the crowds.

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