2 suspects accused of tormenting defenseless horses north of Phoenix
PHOENIX – A man and a teenager were arrested Thursday for allegedly tormenting two horses with rocks and fists north of Phoenix last week, authorities said.
Lawrence Weinhart, 20, and a 16-year-old each face two counts of animal cruelty and one count of third-degree burglary for the Sept. 2 incident, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Friday.
The abuse started around 1 a.m. and lasted about 30 minutes on a private property in New River. The crime was captured on surveillance video, but the suspects could not be identified from the footage.
The horses’ owner publicized the incident on social media and created a GoFundMe campaign for people wishing to contribute to a reward for information leading to an arrest.
The GoFundMe campaign was closed after the arrests were made, and the owner is working with MCSO to figure out how to distribute the reward.
The owners said in a Facebook post that the perpetrators pelted a 30-year-old horse with large river rocks and punched him in the face multiple times while he was locked in his pen.
A 25-year-old horse was also assaulted after being forced into her pen.
Detectives from the MCSO Animal Crimes Unit received multiple tips that helped lead them to the suspects.
“This is just another great example of community members working with law enforcement on solving crimes,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in the release.
“Tips from our communities are always an asset to our investigators when solving crimes.