A U.S. Navy veteran and a retired police horse are both recovering after a hit and run driver struck the back of a horse and carriage Sunday and fled the scene.
Pete Sobotta did two tours in Iraq; his horse, Smokey, retired from the Milwaukee Police Department. Neither had been injured during their tour of duty. But Sunday just before midnight, both were injured when Sobotta’s horse and carriage were struck from behind by a driver who didn’t stop. Sobotta was thrown from the carriage and has a bruised lung and facial injuries. Smokey bolted from the carriage and found his way back to the barn nearby where Milwaukee Coach and Carriage, Sobotta’s employer, is headquartered.
“That’s what horses do – they return to where they are safe and where there is food,” said Milwaukee Police Officer Stephen White, of the MPD’s Mounted Unit, this morning during a news conference with the media.
District 1 and the Criminal Investigation Bureau are looking for information on the driver. Warm temperatures Sunday had people out on their balconies who provided MPD with information on the striking vehicle. But the only concensus is the vehicle was green. We believe there were multiple people in the vehicle so we hope one of them will come forward and tell police what happened.
Anyone with information is asked to call 414-935-7360.