Miniature horses killed by suspected DUI driver

Miniature horses
Miniature horses "Scout" and "Big Red" were struck by a suspected drunk driver this weekend and required euthanasia after suffering severe injuries.

The California Highway Patrol and Cotati police are investigating whether an Oakland man who was arrested near Petaluma on suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday morning also crashed into a corral and killed two miniature horses at a Penngrove residence.

A vehicle driving recklessly in the 10100 block of Minnesota Avenue around 2 a.m. Saturday struck the two horses and fled the scene, according to the CHP.

The horses, Scout and Big Red, were euthanized, according to their owner Juanita Carrillo.

Cotati police arrested a suspect, identified as Ronald Rennert, 39, of Oakland, on suspicion of DUI after the crash had occurred, police Chief Michael Parish said.

Officer Bennet Knight saw a Honda CR-V with front-end damage as it drove past him on West Sierra Avenue in Cotati. Knight turned around and followed the Honda, which he suspected had been involved in a collision, as it entered southbound U.S. Highway 101, Parish said:

“The vehicle was swerving all over the road.”

Rennert could barely manage to have a conversation with Knight after he was pulled over and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, Parish said.

Knight noticed animal hair in the damaged front-end of the Honda.

Police seized and towed the Honda to a secure location, Parish said.

Rennert did not admit to being involved in a crash, and he was booked into Sonoma County Jail. He posted bail and is scheduled for a court hearing May 5, according to a jail staff member.

Carrillo posted photos of her horses on her Facebook page, and she thanked the CHP and Cotati police for identifying a driver suspected of being involved in the case.

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