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Charges dropped for woman in T-rex costume who scared carriage horses


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV/AP) - Prosecutors have dropped charges against a woman accused of dressing up as a dinosaur and scaring two carriage horses in Charleston, South Carolina leading to the carriage driver being injured.

Charleston city prosecutors on Wednesday dropped charges of disorderly conduct and wearing a mask on a public street against Nicole Wells, stemming from a May 2017 incident on Church Street.

Charleston Police said Wells stepped in front of a carriage hauling 16 sightseers and growled while wearing a Tyrannosaurus rex costume. Wells surrendered to police and was arrested the following day.

The carriage operator fell out of the carriage when the horses reportedly lurched backward out of fright. One of the carriage's wheels broke the driver's right foot. None of the passengers were hurt.

Several witnesses, including passengers, told ABC News 4 after the incident they never heard the person in the costume growl, and the events that unfolded appeared to have been a "freak accident."

“I don’t think (the person in the costume) was antagonizing (the horses) at all,” said Randy Swails, a passenger. “He froze, in fact, and didn’t know what to do.”

“I didn’t hear (growling),” said Shelby Salvador, a Jacksonville tourist dining just feet from the incident. “I think it was just happenstance. I think (the person in the dinosaur costume) was going somewhere and then the horses were coming down the road at the same time."

Prosecutors did not explain their decision to drop the case.

Palmetto Carriage Works general manager Tommy Doyle says the company is considering a lawsuit against Wells.

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