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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Stop Horse Racing

Boy hurt as horse bolts

Animal killed after leap onto cab


Cab's roof and windshield are crushed after horse's crash landing at South Conduit Ave. and Linden Blvd., Queens, intersection.

A 13-year-old boy was in critical condition yesterday after the horse he was riding suddenly spooked, throwing him to the ground before bolting into a Queens intersection and trying to leap over a taxi, cops and witnesses said.

Romeo, a 7-year-old brown quarter horse, died after cutting his belly on the taxi's roof light during the 2:30 p.m. accident in Howard Beach.

Javed Johnson, a ninth-grader from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who has been riding horses since he was 5, broke his leg and fractured his skull in the fall at South Conduit Ave. and Linden Blvd., cops and relatives said.

"He's in pain, but he's okay," Javed's mother, Janice Johnson, said from Jamaica Hospital. "He still doesn't know exactly what happened - he said it happened so quickly."

She has been unable to tell Javed, a horse lover, that Romeo died.

"He does not know," she whispered.

It was unclear whether Javed was wearing a helmet, cops said.

Javed and two other riders - a 12-year-old boy and their 73-year-old instructor, Julius Staton - were waiting on a grassy area for the traffic light to change, witnesses said.

The trio was returning from a two-hour ride along South Conduit Ave. to a stall Staton leased from the Federation of Black Cowboys' nearby barn.

The horse lunged as a yellow cab slowly pulled into the intersection, Staton said.

"He jumped over the cab and the \[cab's light\] caught him in the side," Staton said. "It was like in the movies. I thought to myself, 'Is he going to make it?' "

Romeo, who crushed the cab's windshield, ran back to the grass before collapsing.

As the ambulance pulled up, Staton removed the animal's saddle. The second boy, Marquise Jemmott-Faison, gently stroked Romeo's neck.

"Anyone could see the horse was going to die," witness Cori Blackman said.

Cabbie Parmjitn Singh escaped mainly unharmed and was treated for minor cuts at Jamaica Hospital.

Staton said Romeo was not typically a jumpy horse.

"You can walk him in a parade, and he'll just put his head down," said Staton. "He just wanted to get back to the barn."

Javed's mom said she wasn't sure if she'd let him ride again.

But his dad doubted they could keep him out of a saddle for long.

"He told me that we should buy him a horse for his birthday," Ian Johnson said.

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