Galveston’s police chief is apologizing after two of his officers, mounted on horseback, led a handcuffed trespassing suspect by a rope through downtown streets.
Photos of the Saturday incident went viral on social media. The two officers linked the rope to handcuffs worn by 43-year-old criminal trespass suspect Donald Neely and led him around the block to a mounted patrol staging area.
In a statement Saturday, Police Chief Vernon Hale said “this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios,” such as with crowd control. However, he said he believes his officers “showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest.” He said his department has “immediately changed the policy” to prevent use of the technique.
The department sent out a press release about the situation on Monday.
“First and foremost I must apologize to (the man arrested) for this unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods.” said Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale, III
Neely is free on bond. He has no listed telephone number and couldn’t be reached for comment.