Rider arrested on suspicion of felony DUI
A Grimes man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Friday, after the horse he was riding in the Colusa County Fair Parade bucked him and bolted into a crowd of onlookers, breaking a boy’s leg.
According to Colusa Police Sgt. Eldon Tamez, the 9-year-old boy suffered a broken leg just above his ankle. The injury required surgery, Tamez added.
“This was a pretty significant injury,” he said.
The rider, identified as Armando Martinez Ruiz, 34, was arrested for DUI causing injury – a felony.
“The vehicle code says that anyone who is riding an animal on the roadway has to abide by the rules of the road, including traffic and accident reporting. So he’s in control of his vehicle, which is the horse. He lost control, and the horse caused the injury,” Tamez said. “It may have been a freak accident, but he’s still responsible because of his intoxication level.”
Tamez said that Ruiz’s blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal driving limit.
The Colusa County Fair Parade is put on by the Colusa Lions Club. The club’s secretary, Larry Yeghoian, said that in his 18 years of participating in the Colusa County Fair Parade with the Lions Club, there had never before been such an incident. He added that a Lions Club representative had been in contact with the injured boy’s family.
“I know that (Lions Club member) Tom (Reische) has reached out and talked to the (boy’s) family; (Tom) was the chairman of the parade. It was an unfortunate incident, we feel very badly about it. We hope the young boy is OK, and that he recovers 100 percent.”
Reische could not be reached for a comment on Monday. Whether or not the Lions Club will continue to allow the horses in the parade remains to be seen, but Yeghoian said that “it certainly will be a discussion for the future.”