A Delaware man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting multiple ponies.
According to CBS3 in Philly, 31-year-old Michael Riego was arrested on Thursday for sexually assaulting several ponies at the New Castle Carousel Park and Equestrian Center. Police who were monitoring the stables as a part of an ongoing investigation saw Riego looking into a pony’s stall around 12:30 a.m. According to CBS, Riego then entered the stall and tied the pony’s rear legs together. That’s when police entered the stall and found Riego hiding in a corner.
Riego’s arrest may be the end of an ongoing investigation police launched after several reports of injured ponies were issued by New Castle County Carousel Park and Equestrian Center starting in February. Police say the ponies were found with their legs tied with cords just above their hoof. According to investigators, one of the incidents involved a 17-year-old mare who struggled walking after suffering injuries to her rear legs. Another mare was tied up the same way and experienced similar injuries back in 2019. Surveillance footage shows a white man, wearing a dark jacket going into the barn in both incidents. He also sexually assaulted a 31-year-old mare on a third occasion.
When Riego visited the animals, Riego took feeding buckers into the stalls, tied the ponies’ legs together, removed his clothes, and began sexually assaulting them. Initially, it was hard for authorities to identify him because he would cover his face with a cloth. The man is now looking at charges, including felony bestiality and burglary, according to CBS3. Thankfully, the ponies have all been treated and are back living normally.