On This Date: Kenny Chesney Steals Police Horse, Tim McGraw Puts Cop In Chokehold, & They Both Go To Jail

Kenny Chesney country music

We’ve all been there.

You go out on the town with the boys one night, doing a little bar hopping. You kick things off with a beer or two at the first bar, and then one of your buddies decides to order a round of shots, and it ‘s all downhill from there.

Things start to get a little hazy as you make your way to the next bar, the night rolls on, and next thing you know…

You’re sitting in the back of a cop car, or you’re pleading with a cop to not take your buddy to jail.

It happens to the best of us… and that includes even some huge celebrities.

Tim and Kenny Horsing Around

Perhaps one of the wildest country music stories of the modern era, 22 years ago today, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw were playing a show together in Buffalo, New York.

It all went down at the George Strait Country Music Festival held at Bills Stadium formerly known as Ralph Wilson Stadium.

After the show wrapped, a presumably drunk Chesney asked the daughter of a police officer if he could hop on one of the Mounted Reserve deputy’s horses, and of course, she gave him the all clear.

Police officers who didn’t realize what was happening asked him to get off, but apparently, Chesney had some selective hearing that night. Next thing you know, Kenny takes off on the horse like he’s Billy the Kid.

The cops attempted to corral him, and pull him off the horse, but his good buddy Tim took one for the team and put a police officer in a headlock.

Needless to say, the officer didn’t take to kindly to a Tim McGraw chokehold and a fight broke out.

The Police Tell Their Side

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 manager 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.”

Getting Arrested

Timmy and Kenny found their way into some handcuffs.

“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 so concludes one of the greatest stories in country music history.

Could you imagine witnessing this? Two of the biggest faces in country music at the time, stealing a police horse with the other street fighting the police? I mean, it sounds like some rockstar shit to me.

Chesney was wrangled by some backup, and needless to say, they both ended up cuffed in the back of a police cruiser that night.

Kenny was left with a disorderly conduct charge on $100 bail, and Tim with second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administration, menacing, and resisting arrest. He was released on a steep $2,500 bail.

Wild times man, wild times.

I mean, whatever makes you feel like a rockstar… am I right?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock