An allegedly bitter former employee at Belmont Park on Long Island has been accused of stealing a horse and causing its death, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced.
Elmont resident Ramzan Antooa, a backstretch employee at Belmont Park, allegedly knowingly released a racehorse onto blacktop, where it fell, suffering a fatal injury, Singas said.
On Thursday, July 30, Antooa allegedly entered stable number 22 at Belmont Park and released a 2-year-old female racehorse named Pasta out of her stall, Singas stated.
When Pasta was released, it caused the horse to spook, run around the barn, and then outside onto the blacktop area, where she slipped and fell to the ground, Singas said.
Pasta – valued at more than $200,000 – broke her leg, which caused her to bleed profusely and die shortly after the fall.
The incident was allegedly retaliation by Antooa, who had been fired.
Antooa, 38, was charged with:
- Grand larceny;
- Criminal mischief;
- Aggravated harassment;
- Interference with or injury to a domestic animal;
- Petit larceny.
“This defendant is accused of releasing a young racehorse named Pasta from her stall, causing the horse to become frightened and run onto blacktop where she fell and died a painful death,” Singas said. “Every animal deserves to be treated with care and compassion, and my Animal Crimes Unit remains committed to prosecuting this and all of our animal crimes cases.”
Following his arraignment, Antooa was released and scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday, Nov. 19. If convicted, Antooa could face a term of five to 15 years in prison.
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