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From the archives: Remember when a Gasparilla reveler punched a horse named Chad?

In this moment from 2013,  Krispy Kreme server Michelle Ross reacts after Chad, the veteran Tampa police horse, pulls a jelly doughnut from her hand in the drive-thru at the Kennedy Boulevard location. Tampa Police officers dangled buckets from Krispy Kreme's rooftop that day to collect donations for Special Olympics Florida. Chad was being ridden by Officer Will Wagner. The horse, now retired from the force, received some notariety in 2016 when he was punched by a Gasparilla reveler. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
In this moment from 2013, Krispy Kreme server Michelle Ross reacts after Chad, the veteran Tampa police horse, pulls a jelly doughnut from her hand in the drive-thru at the Kennedy Boulevard location. Tampa Police officers dangled buckets from Krispy Kreme's rooftop that day to collect donations for Special Olympics Florida. Chad was being ridden by Officer Will Wagner. The horse, now retired from the force, received some notariety in 2016 when he was punched by a Gasparilla reveler. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
Published Jan. 28, 2018

After Saturday's Gasparilla celebration comes today's welcome news that arrests were on the low side this year.

It wasn't always that way, particularly in 2016, when an intoxicated Longwood man struck a police horse named Chad.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Man accused of punching Tampa police horse at Gasparilla

This wasn't just any horse.

Chad, like his assailant, was about 20 years old at the time. He had served on the police force for more than a dozen years, often performing the solemn role of the riderless horse during services for fallen officers. Human officers referred to him affectionately as "Big Nasty."

READ MORE: Tampa police horse 'Big Nasty' retiring his rein as 'riderless horse'

Chad was revered, a true thoroughbred. He retired from police work just last May.

What better time than now to revisit his story?

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