Chicago police horse dies on the job

August 30, 2011

By The Associated Press

(Flickr/Mirandala, File)

A Chicago police officer is lamenting the death of his horse, which he said was like his family.

Officer Paul Casasanto was on mounted patrol Monday at North Avenue beach when the horse, named Mikey C, began to struggle and went down.

Casasanto said he tried to calm his horse as beachgoers and joggers came close. After several attempts to stand, the horse rolled onto its side, laid its head on the ground and took a last breath.

The 18-year-old former race horse was named to honor Chicago Police Officer Michael Ceriale, who was shot to death in 1998 while conducting drug surveillance.

Police Department spokesman Officer Darryl Baety said the cause of death hasn't been determined.

Casasanto clipped the horse's tail and removed a horseshoe to remember the animal.