An equine member of the NYPD Mounted Unit took a bite out of a Swedish woman’s finger — all because she committed the crime of trying to pet him, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Pernilla Ekberg, 28, was having fun with her friends in iconic Lower East Side bar Max Fish last November when they spotted the officer and animal on Orchard St., the lawsuit said.
Ekberg asked the cop for permission to approach the horse and give him a pat — but when she reached out, the angry equine mistook her manicured hand for dinner.
“It chomped down on her hand, bit off the tip and spit it out on the floor,” said Ekberg’s lawyer, Eliot Bickoff.
“The police officer panicked and ran away. He just left. He didn’t offer her any assistance,” the lawyer said.
Ekberg lost the top tip of her ring finger on her right hand, he said.
“Her boyfriend put the tip on ice” and they rushed her to Bellevue but doctors couldn’t save it.
“She lost (it) — basically the whole nail bed area,” Bickoff said.
“This is a significant disfigurement,” Bickoff said, because Ekberg is right handed.
An analyst of marketing campaigns, she needs her full right hand to type, hold a pen, interact with people and all of that has been affected by losing the tip of her ring finger, the lawyer said.
He said she has nerve damage as well and spent months in intensive rehab working to restore her fine motor skills which are still impaired.
“We will be examining the plaintiff’s suit,” said a city Law Department spokesman.
Bickoff said the mounted horse had been calm as other local bar patrons approached and patted it — leading Ekberg to think her attentions were welcome.
“Pernilla asked the officer if she could pet the horse and he said ‘Sure.’ She was comfortable doing that. She has a lot of experience with horses,” the lawyer said.