The Horse and Carriage Association held a press conference this morning to “say goodbye” to “Oreo,” a horse that got spooked earlier this month and raised a little hell in midtown before he could be captured. Three people were injured.
The union also used this morning’s press conference to attempt to call out Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for not prosecuting a female protester who assaulted a carriage driver a few days after the incident with “Oreo.”
“It’s time for DA Vance to send a clear message to NYCLASS that the harassment and attacks on hard-working, law abiding carriage drivers must come to an end,” HCA President Steve Malone says in a statement.
Only problem is, Vance already sent that message — when he filed three counts of assault and one count of harassment against the woman the day of the alleged assault, which happened nearly two weeks ago.
Seems like a rather significant PR oversight when calling out the D.A. for failing to file charges against a person whom…well…he filed charges against.
According to court document obtained by the Voice, Vance’s office hit animal rights activist Roxanne Delgado with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor harassment for the attack, which occurred on August 18. The charges were filed that same day — again, nearly two weeks prior to the HCA’s press conference this morning.
Malone insists the press conference was not an attempt to “call out” Vance, telling the Voice his group is only trying to raise awareness of the assaults happening on carriage drivers by activist groups like Delgado’s New Yorkers For Clean Livable And Safe Streets, an anti-horse carriage group.
He admits that he didn’t check with the D.A. to see if charges had been filed against Delgado, but claims to have already known that they had.
When asked why he would hold a press conference calling for charges that he already knew had been filed, Malone again says “to raise awareness.”
The exchange was dizzying.
The PR SNAFU aside, Malone says attacks on carriage drivers are happening more frequently and they need to be stopped. He says another incident happened Saturday, when at about 9:30 p.m., two activists — a man and a woman — followed a driver through Central Park harassing him. At the end of the ride, Malone says the man punched the carriage driver in the face — apparently for nothing more than guiding a horse through the park.
Malone says these types of incidents often go unpunished, and the point of the press conference was to let people know that incidents like these were happening. He says his group has no problem with protesters, but that they “step over the line” when they get physical. He says those responsible need to be held accountable — which they are, and Malone would have known had he bothered to call the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Delgado’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 3.