Arrest over fatal shooting of horse pulling Amish buggy

| 13 February 2014 7:30 pm
An Amish family rides in a traditional Amish buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo: TheCadExpert/Wikipedia

An Amish family rides in a traditional Amish buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. © TheCadExpert/Wikipedia

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in Pennsylvania over the fatal November shooting of a horse pulling an Amish buggy carrying a family of five.

The wounded horse continued for about a mile to a Pennsylvania farm before the occupants of the buggy noticed the animal bleeding from its mouth, with a gunshot wound to its chest.

The animal died before a veterinarian arrived.

The arrested man is Timothy Antonio Diggs Jr, from Ronks, who faces seven misdemeanor counts. They comprise five counts of reckless endangerment – one for each occupant of the buggy –  animal cruelty, and firing into an occupied vehicle.

Timothy Diggs. Photo: Supplied

Timothy Diggs

The charges were laid by the East Lampeter Township Police Department, which investigated the Lancaster County shooting.

The shooting occurred in Ronks, in the southeastern area of the county, as the the horse and buggy were heading north in the 100 block of North Ronks Road on November 24 around 9pm.

The buggy occupants, comprising a married couple and their three children, heard what sounded like a firecracker from a vehicle that passed them, also heading north.

The horse spooked and bolted, but the driver managed to regain control.

They arrived at their destination about a mile away and discovered their horse was injured and bleeding. They told police they had believed the noise they heard was a firecracker, and did not realize their horse had been injured.

“Sometimes people throw firecrackers at buggies,” police Lieutenant Robin Weaver said at the time. “That’s what they thought had happened.”

Police launched a probe and a necropsy was performed on the horse at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Penny Habecker confirmed the horse died from a gunshot wound to the left side of the chest.

The police had hoped to recover the bullet from the horse so investigators could obtain ballistics evidence, but have not revealed whether this was achieved during the necropsy.

Diggs has been in custody in Lancaster County Prison since police executed a search warrant at his home on December 2. Police are reported to have seized stolen firearms as well as a stolen motorcycle,  from separate burglaries in East Lampeter Township and Upper Leacock Township. Police have not disclosed whether one was confirmed as the weapon used in the shooting.

Diggs was arrested in relation to the horse shooting  on Wednesday, Lieutenant Weaver said.

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Comments (5)

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  1. CK says:

    I hope they lock him up forever. Those folks could have been severely injured not to mention how cruel it was to shoot the horse. What kind of idiot IS he?

  2. Robin says:

    The poor thing kept going, so sad.

  3. Margaret says:

    Thank you New Bolton!

    What a bleeping scuzzy thing to do. Fire a loaded weapon into a buggy with children present. Shoot the horse? Why? Cause your mommy didn’t ever tell you NO?

    I’ve got some recommendations for the prosecution. Push to have this boy neutered. That way he can’t populate the next generation with idiots like himself. He is NOT to have ANY contact with animals EVER. Unlike Michael Vick–this needs to be enforced. No pets, no livestock.

    Throw his rump into prison and let everyone know there’s fresh meat available. If he lives to walk out fine–if not–no great loss.

    • Finola says:

      Wish I was on the judiciary too, Margaret. Think of how a poor dog is treated when he bites someone, yet ‘humans’, who are meant to have a conscience, too often get away with such wickedness.

  4. C Finding says:

    “seven misdemeanor counts. They comprise five counts of reckless endangerment – one for each occupant of the buggy – animal cruelty, and firing into an occupied vehicle.”

    I knew Pennsylvania had notoriously terrible animal welfare laws (penalties are commensurate in punishment with parking violations) but you only get charged with a misdemeanor for firing into an occupied vehicle? No wonder that state is such a crap-hole.

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