Woman in dinosaur costume that spooked Charleston horses surrenders to police

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — The woman who wore an orange dinosaur costume and spooked two carriage horses in Charleston, has turned herself into police.

Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said in a statement that someone wearing a Tyrannosaurus rex costume started growling Thursday when the carriage passed. Francis says the horses were startled and they backed up, sending the carriage into a parked vehicle.

The person who wore the costume surrendered to police Friday morning.

Nicole Wells, 26, of Cahrleston, surrendered to police about 9:30 a.m. at the George Street police substation. Wells is charged with disorderly conduct and masked or disguised person. She was cited and released, Francis says.

The carriage driver fell off and a wheel rolled over his leg. He went to a hospital with minor injuries. Francis says neither the passengers in the carriage nor the horses were hurt. One horse fell briefly.

Phil Bailey with Palmetto Carriage Works says the person in the costume, now identified as Wells, ran away. The company says the carriage driver warned the person not to scare the horses.

Tommy Doyle, Manager of Palmetto Carriage Works, issued the following statement on Thursday’s harassment incident involving a carriage tour and the person in the dinosaur costume:

Around 5:30 p.m. today one of Palmetto Carriage Works carriage tours was approached by an individual dressed in a dinosaur costume. The person ignored multiple warnings from the carriage driver and bystanders to move away from the horses. The horses reacted, causing the driver to be thrown from the carriage and one of the horses to take a seated position.

The driver was transported to the hospital and suffered a broken foot. The horse named Yogi received very minor abrasions and is resting well back at the Big Red Barn with the other horse named Boo Boo.

Today’s assault is outrageous and has no place in Charleston. The harassment our horses and mules receive from radical animal rights activists is creating an environment that is dangerous for animals and people. The City of Charleston needs to condemn these tactics and warn groups that encourage this behavior that their rhetoric is fueling this danger.
Palmetto Carriage Works loves our animals and their wellbeing is our top priority. We wish we could say the same about the individual in the dinosaur costume and the groups encouraging this dangerous behavior.

Charleston Animal Society offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any individual who did this with the intent to torment the carriage horses.