Horses which injured boy, aged 4, put in play park by police
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 September 2015
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy was taken to hospital with head and stomach injuries after being kicked by a horse which police put in a children's park to keep it 'secure' while tracing its owners.
Two horses and a foal were put in Maltlands’ Play Park in Weston-super-Mare by police officers after they were found loose on a railway track in North Worle at 2.48am on Sunday.
Officers checked on the horses again at 8.30am and left, but shortly after noon the ambulance service was called after a four-year-old boy was kicked by one of the animals.
He was taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital but suffered only minor injuries and is now ‘fit and well’.
Shortly after the incident with the young boy, police were once again called to the scene after young people were seen throwing bricks at the animals.
Sergeant Jim Robinson said: “At the time of the original call, in the early hours of Sunday morning, our priority was to contain the risk to both the horses, rail and road users.
“We alerted the appropriate rail authorities and secured the animals as quickly as possible in a nearby play area.
“We have spoken to the family of the young child and are very pleased to hear he is fit and well, after receiving only very minor injuries.”
Ian Johnson, who is the organiser for Maltland’s Park Volunteer Group and lives next to the park, said he first heard something happening in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He said: “First of all we heard a kerfuffle but just thought it was normal Saturday night noise.
“In the morning one of my volunteers rang and told me that there were horses in the play park.
“Later one of the girls that used to help our volunteer group came and told me a four-year-old was kicked in the head.
“One of the parents I was talking to said the child was sent through the air some 20ft.”
Ian and his volunteers then stayed at the park to warn parents not to go inside until the owner of the animals was found.
He said: “You would not believe the verbal abuse we took because we were asking parents not to take their kids into the play area – even after the boy had been hurt.”
When police identified the owner of the horses they were returned, and Sgt Robinson said: “They have been given words of advice and members of the local policing team are liaising with them to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent them escaping again in the future.
“We would like to remind any livestock owners to regularly check fencing, gates and hedging to ensure their animals are secure in order to prevent any serious accidents and potential harm to both the animals and the public.”