Texas Man Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Girl's Horse and Riding It to Death

A man was arrested on animal cruelty charges in Texas this week after stealing a 10-year-old girl's pet horse before beating and riding it to death, police say.

The suspect, identified as Traveon Marqués Hillsman, was detained by officers from the City of Brookshire police yesterday following a public appeal. Hillsman allegedly rode the animal from Brookshire to Fulshear—a 7.5-mile stretch—and back again, ABC13 reported.

The horse was stolen from a Brookshire stable and died outside H&E Equipment Services, where employees phoned for help and tried to save its life.

Police said officers received a call referencing animal abuse at about 7:15 p.m on Monday.

They were told that a man had been seen "striking the horse with his fist in the face and mouth area while yelling obscenities," chief of police Brandal Jackson wrote in a release shared on social media.

The suspect is 21 years old, according to the Houston Chronicle newspaper, which reported Hillsman is believed to have ridden the horse for several hours without stopping before beating the animal when it could no longer move.

When police arrived the suspect fled on foot. "Officers observed the missing horse to be extremely exhausted, dripping in sweat and shaking uncontrollably. The horse then fell shortly after and stopped breathing," noted Jackson, who described the case as a "horrific" crime.

Officials confirmed Hillsman was located at a residence in nearby Austin County, roughly 27 miles from Brookshire, with the assistance of Wallis Police Department. The suspect faced four charges: felony cruelty to livestock, theft of livestock, burglary of a building and evading arrest.

Tony Henny, the man who purchased the horse as a Christmas present for his granddaughter, told ABC13 that finding the remains of the deceased animal is something he will never forget.

"It's going to break my granddaughter's heart," Henny said. "We could get another horse, but it's still not the same thing. This is something she had been looking forward to and waiting for.

"We finally got it, [I] was going to bring it home and she would be able to ride it, and now I got to tell her the horse is dead. Not only that it's dead, but the way the horse died. That somebody would be so cruel to do something like that to something that never did harm to anybody."

The Brookshire Police Department published Hillsman's mugshot to Facebook yesterday. The chief of police has been contacted for additional information about the case.

Under Texas law, cruelty to livestock carries potential sentences of jail and financial penalties. The charge against Hillsman was listed as a State Jail Felony, which can result in up to two years prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the Texas-based Saputo Law Firm.

Treveon Marqués Hillsman
Treveon Marqués Hillsman (pictured) was located at a residence in Austin County and was taken into custody by Texas police after allegedly killing a horse. Brookshire Police Department