Tornetta, a sophomore at Temple University, was arrested in January outside of Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, ahead of the NFC championship game between the Eagles and Vikings. On a day that featured raucous behavior both before and after the contest, which Philadelphia won to reach the Super Bowl, Tornetta was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, along with related offenses.
At the time, police claimed that Tornetta “became verbally combative” while being arrested by a mounted officer, then “struck the officer’s horse two times with his fist, on [the horse’s] right front shoulder.” Tornetta was also alleged to have “struck the [police] corporal on the right side of his face, below his eye, causing redness and swelling.”
Police said that Tornetta then “shed his garments,” to make himself harder to identify as he tried to blend back into the surrounding crowd of fans. Video of the scene appeared to show some of the unfolding situation (warning: profanity).
According to TMZ Sports, Tornetta’s lawsuit asserted that he was just socializing with friends, not misbehaving at all, when he was grabbed and dragged away by officers, who beat him with batons and injured his face, skull and back. Tornetta accused the police of giving investigators a misleading depiction of the incident, which he said has led to him being “demonized on social media and Internet sites reporting upon his assault on police and his cruelty towards an animal.”
Tornetta’s arrest came a week after another Philadelphia-area man was taken into custody for punching a police horse during a playoff game between the Eagles and visiting Falcons. Twenty-two-year-old Taylor Hendricks was being ejected from the stadium for intoxication and not having a ticket, police said, when he “walked over to a mounted officer and began punching the horse in the face, neck and shoulder area.”
Hendricks was charged with charged with aggravated assault, taunting a police animal, simple assault and defiant trespass (per NJ.com). TMZ Sports reported that charges against Tornetta, who blamed the Eagles for having improperly trained security staffers, were dropped after he completed 12 hours of community service.
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