AUTHORITIES CALL ON THE PUBLIC FOR HELP IN TRACKING DOWN CULPRIT
Cross-posted from San Antonio Express
WRITTEN BY JOHN TEDESCO
A horse that was tied to truck and dragged more than 100 yards down an asphalt road last month — scraping big chunks of hide from its side — is recovering at a rescue shelter, and authorities are searching for the man who drove the pickup.
Bastrop County is pursuing an animal cruelty case against Mariano Resendiz Villafuerta, 43, who has not been found. A previous warrant for cruelty was replaced Wednesday with a stiffer charge of cruelty to livestock animals by tripping, a state jail felony.
“This is something beyond horrible,” said Darla Cherry, president and executive director of Meadow Haven Horse Rescue in Nixon, where the horse is recovering and doing well.
According to the Bastrop County sheriff’s office, a deputy responded to a call of animal cruelty on Nov. 10 in Del Valle near Austin. A witness said he had spotted a lost horse on the road when a white Ford F-150 pickup truck pulled up. The driver, identified as Villafuerta, took control of the horse and tied it to the truck’s hitch.
The driver took off and accelerated to a “high rate of speed with the horse still tied to the hitch of the truck,” the sheriff’s affidavit alleges. The horse had trouble keeping up, fell on its side, and was dragged about 100 yards.
The driver got out of the truck and kicked the horse in the neck until the animal stood up. He then grabbed the horse’s lead rope and ran it down the driveway of a nearby house, the affidavit says.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in tracking down Villafuerta. The license plate of the Ford F-150 is BU1-3787.