Philadelphia, PA – A fan who took off some of his clothes and allegedly punched a police horse at a Philadelphia Eagles’ game has filed a lawsuit against the police and the NFL team (video below).
Andrew Tornetta, 19, was behaving in an out-of-control manner at a tailgate party before a playoff game when he was arrested, according to police.
Police said the incident began when a mounted Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) corporal was attempting to disperse a crowd at a tailgate party in the M lot at Lincoln Financial Field just after 3 p.m. on Jan. 21.
Tornetta refused to comply with police commands to leave the area, WTXF reported.
First, Tornetta became verbally combative. Then he began shedding layers of clothing in order to escape the police officers.
He slipped out of his jacket, which the police corporal was holding onto, and allegedly punched the police horse twice. Police say then punched the corporal in the face, just below his eye.
Then Tornetta shed his sweatshirt in what appeared to be an effort to hide from police in the crowd, but it didn’t work and he was quickly arrested, the Inquirer reported. The video of his arrest quickly went viral.
Tornetta was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, and placed in an accelerated misdemeanor program.
The charges against him were withdrawn March 6 after Tornetta had completed 12 hours of community service and paid $222 in court fees, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In his lawsuit filed on May 30, Tornetta claimed that he didn’t hit the police horse and that officers beat him for no reason. He asked for damages in excess of $50,000, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the lawsuit, Tornetta claimed he “demonized” in the news media and on social media “reporting upon his assault on police and his cruelty towards an animal.”
The lawsuit alleged that he has suffered “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. …” as a result of the beating and his “false” arrest.
The Philadelphia Eagles are named as defendants for failing to supervise police who were acting on the team’s behalf, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
When the incident occurred, it was the second week in a row that an Eagles fan was charged with punching a police horse working at a football game.
You can see video of Tornetta’s arrest below: