DALLAS — A 14-year-old riding a stolen horse died, and two other teens were injured, after a car crashed into them early Tuesday in southern Dallas, police said.
The crash happened around 5:30 a.m. along Great Trinity Forest Way near Interstate 45. A car hit the three horseback riders, who were riding stolen horses, police said.
Police initially said the driver of the car left the scene; however, they stayed, and aren't facing any charges.
One horse rider died at the scene and two others, ages 16 and 17, were treated at a hospital, police said.
One horse died in the crash and another had to be euthanized at the scene. A third horse was injured but was expected to survive.
Lorenza Gooch is the owner of the stolen horses and of Memory Lane Stable and Track, where the horses were taken from. The horses who died were named Belle Wind Up, 2, and Waco Sassy Kid, 3.
“When they showed the horse loaded on the trailer, I knew that was my horse. I could tell by the look of the horse," Gooch said. "I’m heartbroken. I’m speechless. I don’t know. It hasn’t really set in yet.”
Gooch said the horses have been ridden before because they harness race and are trained to pull a buggy.
Per sources within the Dallas Police Department, the three thefts at Gooch's stables total ten horse thefts in the area in recent weeks.
Those same sources are connecting the dots to see if the group of teens is responsible.
The 17-year-old, their ringleader per DPD, is currently on probation wearing a GPS ankle monitor.
Information about that case is not known, but the teen's social media does have a post written by him where he defends himself recently from those accusing him of stealing horses.
His ultimate defense was, "at the end of the day I'm on an ankle monitor," per the post.
According to official documents, the 17-year-old originally left the scene of the accident was later taken to an area hospital by a family member. The teen was arrested and charged with theft of livestock.
Scott Williamson, an executive director for a group of agents that investigate livestock thefts, said these kinds of thefts may just be connected to joyriding.
Nine of the 10 horses stolen have been recovered either dead or alive, including those taken from Gooch.
"They may go and steal and ride them off the property instead of trying to haul them across the country, they just turn them loose," Williamson said.
Williamson said stealing a horse in Texas is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.