Eagles fan denies punching horse, sues team, police

Andrew Tornetta's mugshot from his arrestPhoto: Philadelphia Police Department

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They punch horses, don’t they? The Philadelphia police department claim that is the case, but one fan of the Philadelphia Eagles is fighting back in the courts.

Andrew Tornetta, accused of punching a police horse before the Eagles hosted the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game in January, filed a lawsuit against Philadelphia police and the team, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In his lawsuit filed Wednesday in Philadelphia, Tornetta claims he never struck the horse and accused city and state police with beating him for no reason.

Tornetta charged that his “false” arrest and “demonization” in the media caused him to suffer “physical pain, discomfort, trauma, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, sleeplessness, anxiety, inability to perform simple activities of daily living, depression characterized by feelings of despair, hopelessness, and despondency.”

The 20-year-old Tornetta is seeking damages in excess of $50,000. The Eagles were named in the lawsuit for their failure to properly supervise police who were acting on the team’s behalf.

Tornetta was the second man arrested in as many weeks for punching a horse. Another Eagles fan, Taylor Hendricks, was charged with aggravated assault, taunting a police animal, simple assault and defiant trespassing for allegedly punching a horse prior to Philadelphia’s playoff win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Neither the team or city or state police commented on Tornetta’s lawsuit.

Tornetta had charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse dropped in early March following completion of an accelerated misdemeanor program. He had to complete 12 hours of community service and pay a $222 fine.

In the suit, Tornetta alleged that a state trooper on horseback grabbed him by the collar, pulling off his shirt. He said other officers joined in the fray and accused them of hitting him in the face and head with batons, leaving him bleeding.

Images and video of the incident went viral, and Tornetta charged that he was demonized in the news and on social media as a result, according to the lawsuit.