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Controversy over warning given by Lake Charles Volunteer Deputy - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Controversy over warning given by Lake Charles Volunteer Deputy Marshal

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LAKE CHARLES, La. -

There's controversy over a warning given by a Lake Charles Volunteer Deputy Marshal. 

A Facebook video shows the volunteer Deputy Marshal saying, "You're lucky I didn't shoot him off the horse. I have the right." 

The statements were made during the annual chicken run in Lake Charles. Some are questioning whether he went too far with his words.

Event organizers worry how this incident will affect future chicken runs.

In the Facebook video, a group can be seen riding their horses down the street after the chicken run. One of the riders, Jamal Carmouche, told KPLC news he was trying to slow down when he saw volunteer Deputy Marshal Gary Higginbothom. In the video you can see Higginbothom striking the horse as Carmouche passes by.

"This guy actually came out his mouth and said you're lucky," Carmouche said. "You're telling my family member you're lucky I didn't shoot him off the horse. For what? What have I done for you to say that to my family?"

Zydeco artist Chris Ardoin, an organizer of chicken run, was in disbelief when he saw the video.

 "When I saw the video, I was disappointed because that's not what we represent," Ardoin said. "That's not what the city represents and it was just overall bad." 

Marshal Joey Alcede says Higginbothom is subject to disciplinary action and the chief deputy has counseled him on his choice of words. 

"It was unfortunate that in the heat of the moment he made a comment that he shouldn't have made and he's sorry he made," Alcede said. 

Higginbothom released a statement to KPLC, saying,"I wish I wouldn't have said that, but at the time it just happened. I was scared….they came running straight at me."

As for the Lake Charles chicken run, Ardoin says he is unsure about its future. 

"Chicken run is in the air right now," Ardoin said. " Every year they come with 'no horses' this year they completely knocked out ATV's. So with this incident, I'm pretty sure we will going back and forth with this for a long time. Chicken run 2019 is in the air." 

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