The locals of Manatee County are understandably upset over the horse-related crimes that have recently affected their area. Horse owners are on edge that the butchers of Phedras de Blondel have not yet been apprehended and are incorporation many security safeguards to keep properties and horses secure and protected. Still, on Nov. 16, word hit the online media that the Rick Davis Stables in Palmetto experienced a problem during a previous night involving an unknown assailant.
According to Rick Davis, owner of Rick Davis Stables, he asked an employee to spend nights in the barn. That employee was asleep until he heard the horses making noise and being agitated and restless. He came awake with a start, realizing that someone had come into the stable.
Davis’ employee walked the length of the aisle and back, but saw no intruders. He continued to the end of the aisle and started to walk outside when, suddenly, he was hit on the head and knocked out. When he came to, he saw that he was lying in his own blood so he called 911. The blow to his forehead required 13 stitches. By that time, the culprit had long ago vanished, leaving no trace.
No one knows if this individual had any association with the killers of the butchered horse. Davis who runs a saddlery in addition to the stables said, “We don’t know for sure if this was related to the same people that butchered the horse or if this was somebody coming in maybe to steal saddles. We have no idea.”
Since the champion show horse was so brutally slaughtered on a farm just a few miles away from the Rick Davis Stables, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has been actively engaged in extra surveillance of the surrounding horse properties. There had been no unusual activity at the time officers passed by. As a matter of fact, investigators said they were getting fewer leads now than were coming in before. They renewed their request for information from the public, saying their officers would welcome all the help people can offer. The detectives check out all horse-related calls and tips. No one can be absolutely sure that the recent local horse-related crimes are not connected to the slaughter of Phedras de Blondel. Officers are more than willing to help any of the frightened horse owners.
The spokesman for Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Dave Bristow, has renewed his willingness to help in any way he or his associates can. Bristow said,
You can always call our crime prevention office and we’ll actually come out and give you tips on how to better secure your area.
Bristow added that horse owners must also take their own precautions and remain very vigilant. He said, “I think people just need to be aware of their surroundings.”
Davis has no intention of running scared or taking chances. His installation of an advanced camera system is scheduled and will be up and running soon. He added,
Things are going on out there. I don’t think they’re done with us yet. The horse community is very nervous. All my friends are nervous, so we’re all being extra cautious, extra careful to keep an eye on our horses.
Anyone with information about this or the other horse-related crimes should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (941) 747-3011.