Green Creek man arrested after horse shot and killed during altercation
Published 11:33 am Friday, July 7, 2023
Prominent equestrian arrested on assault, animal cruelty charges
GREEN CREEK—On Wednesday, July 5, a Green Creek man was arrested on assault and animal cruelty charges.
John Victor Russell, 75, of Vick Russell Lane in Green Creek, was charged with assault on a person with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and felony animal cruelty causing the death of an animal, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
PCSO deputies were dispatched to an altercation involving gunfire, and upon arrival at the scene encountered several individuals on the property. They determined that a dispute had occurred between a father and son, resulting in the firing of a gun and the death of a horse that the son had been riding.
Russell, a horse trainer and show jumper, is a prominent member of the local equestrian community.
A witness who asked to remain anonymous told the Bulletin that Russell and his son had been arguing, and Russell left and then returned in a pickup truck waving a gun before firing two shots. The horse that the son had been riding then collapsed due to a gunshot wound.
“Police cars were everywhere,” the witness said after the incident. “Clients, kids, people everywhere.”
Russell was taken before a magistrate and given a $90,000 secured bond. His next court date is scheduled on July 19.