Swedish woman files lawsuit after NYPD horse bit off tip of finger


Bad horsie!

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's lawyer said said she has nerve damage as well and spent months in intensive rehab working to restore her fine motor skills, which are still impaired.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.

Pernilla Ekberg, 26, had the tip of her finger bitten off by a NYPD mounted horse after she left a bar in Manhattan in November 2014, she claims in a new lawsuit.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.


5 thoughts on “Swedish woman files lawsuit after NYPD horse bit off tip of finger

  1. “ ‘The police officer panicked and ran away. He just left. He didn’t offer her any assistance,’ the lawyer said.”

  2. This is a subject I know well, I’ve grown up with, work around and make a living working with horses ever day. I would lay money this horse is used to being hand fed treats. It is a BAD idea to give horses treats for no reason on a regular basis, because they become very mouthy or lippy. And when they do, this is what happens; people who aren’t careful and don’t know how to properly feed a treat, can have their fingers, articles of clothing and even breasts or arms bitten.

    When the woman said she wanted to pet the horse, an experienced horse person would presume that to mean the person wanted to rub the horses forehead, the cheek, the neck, etc, NOT stick their fingers around the mouth for the horse to be mistaken for a carrot.

    Horses that become accustomed to being fed treats can get anxious about it, meaning they love being fed treats so much, they don’t care what is placed near their mouths, they will go after it with great enthusiasm and take a bite out of anything that comes their way.

    The cop was definitely at fault for 1) allowing anyone to pet his horse while the horse is on duty and 2) for not specifying where and how to pet the horse.

    The woman likely had no business being around the face of the horse as it sounds as though she had no clue what might happen, plus she has no idea whether or not this was a mouthy horse to start with. The only one who knew what was going on seemed to have been the horse. Not his fault this human didn’t have an actual treat for him. Next time, keep your fingers away from the horse’s mouth. Better yet, just stay away from horses.

    And for the record (as if anyone asked or cares, lol), my horses RARELY ever get treats and when they do, they have to do something to earn them (bend, flex or stretch a certain way, or do some sort of a trick), then and only then will they get a treat and it’s a controlled feeding; the horse is not allowed to get frantic about receiving the treat or he doesn’t get the treat. Must be calm and quiet.

    BTW, the lawsuit would likely not go the way of the woman here in Georgia; working with, being around, riding, etc, etc can be inherently dangerous and all those activities are done at your own risk – that woudl include petting or hand feeding a horse. The officer???, well, it’s NYC, nothing is likely going to happen to him.

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