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Mexican man arrested for punching police horse at Lollapalooza

August 11, 2009 |  7:37 pm

Lollapalooza

The gray skies grew darker Sunday in Chicago when a man allegedly punched a horse as the Lollapalooza music festival drew to a close. 

Pablo Fernandez, a 21-year-old Mexican national, is accused of approaching a Chicago police horse at around 9 p.m as the three-day festival was winding down, and when he was told by the mounted officer that he could not pet the working animal, Fernandez became angered and allegedly punched the equine.

The assault caused the horse to rear back in a panic while in the middle of the concert-goers, police spokeswoman Gabrielle Lesniak told the Chicago Tribune. Fernandez was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct. 

Police News Affairs Officer Kevin Kilmer told the Chicago Sun-Times that he couldn't confirm that the  violence was Lolla-related, but it did take place as the festival was wrapping up and police were trying to get crowds to disperse from Grant Park. Approximately 75,000 people a day attended the festival, which was headlined by acts like Jane's Addiction, Depeche Mode and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Kilmer had no word on the status of the horse.

-- Tony Pierce

A general view during the 2009 Lollapalooza music festival at Grant Park in Chicago.  Credit: Jeff Gentner / Getty Images

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