Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Horse unhurt after football trouble

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio (second left) celebrates with his players after his side's third goal against Newcastle United

Bud the police horse is showing no ill effects and has been given some time off from frontline duties having been punched by a football fan as trouble flared after the Tyne-Wear derby.

In footage posted online, a man wearing a bandana is apparently seen aiming a punch at the animal, before being wrestled to the ground by riot police.

The incident was part of violence and disorder which marred games across the country this weekend, British Transport Police said.

The worst scenes were at Wembley on Saturday during the first FA Cup semi-final when Millwall fans fought among each other and turned on police.

At Newcastle on Sunday, supporters incensed by the 3-0 derby defeat by Sunderland attacked police protecting the away fans.

Northumbria Police said three of its officers were injured - adding that 29 people had been arrested and more will follow. Officers have appealed for people to send in mobile phone pictures of disorder.

Video footage showed thugs flinging bottles at lines of officers in Newcastle city centre, while British Transport Police said three of their officers were hurt when the Central Station came under siege.

A female BTP officer went to hospital after she was hit by a brick on the shoulder, a male officer suffered a black eye after being elbowed in the face and a sergeant received facial and leg injuries after being struck by thrown ballast.

In one incident outside St James' Park, a middle-aged man was seen to confront a mounted officer and appeared to throw a punch at the horse before he was thrown to the floor. A man was bailed pending further inquiries.

West Yorkshire Police, who have had the shire-cross for seven years, showed Bud off in his stables. Inspector Trevor Thackray, of West Yorkshire Police's mounted section, said: "We are pleased to say that Bud is totally fine and resting up after Sunday's eventful operation in Newcastle."

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