I can barely remember this huge news story from 2000 as I was just approaching my 12th birthday and figuring out the internet, but it definitely deserves revisiting – Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw both arrested in Buffalo for taking a police horse and the scuffle that followed.
It all went down at the George Strait Country Music Festival held at Bills Stadium formerly known as Ralph Wilson Stadium. The fellas were extra rowdy that night (maybe Kenny got into the rum a bit) and it ended in both superstars detained for hours before being released on bail.
This is they type of country throwback many of y’all reading this likely forgot about as well. This news segment, the outfits, the shenanigans, all of it is so on brand for Y2K and completely hilarious looking back almost 21 years later (June 3, 2000).
Long story short: Kenny Chesney asked to ride a police horse, the daughter of the deputy said OK, but then Kenny wouldn’t get off the horse, when cops tried to get Kenny off the horse, a scuffle with police broke out and that included both Tim McGraw and a member from his team.
Erie County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan provided more info to CMT at the time:
“When the deputy went to remove Chesney from the horse another deputy was going to assist him. McGraw came and jumped the second deputy from behind, wrapped one arm around his neck and was choking him. Now I’m not suggesting he was trying to really choke him. But he had him with his arm around his neck, and he was holding on.”
“Then that deputy needed assistance to get [McGraw] off. When the [third] deputy went to assist the one that McGraw had a choke-hold on, that’s when [management representative Mark] Russo jumped in. So there was a little scuffle that ensued, and both the deputies sustained very minor injuries. But because they had sustained the injuries, the law in New York State says assaulting a police officer is a felony, regardless of the extent of the injuries — from a minor bruise to lacerations and broken bones.”
“Following the incident the people involved were taken back to a command post we set up [at a local fire hall] when the stadium is in operation. From there, we took them maybe 10 or 15 miles to a town judge for an arraignment. [McGraw and Russo] were arraigned before the local magistrate and released on bail pending further court appearance. . . . Chesney was issued an appearance ticket and released on the scene.”
In the end, they were acquitted, and have a story that will live on forever.
Full news report here.
Flash forward to 2012 when Tim and Kenny hit the road on their Brothers of the Sun Tour, playing 23 massive shows totaling over 1M fans.