Man 'disgusted' at Tyne-Wear derby police horse attack
A man who punched a police horse when football fans clashed following the Tyne-Wear derby says he is "disgusted" with the way he behaved.
Four officers were injured and 29 people were arrested after Sunday's 3-0 defeat. Five have so far been charged.
Barry Rogerson, from Morpeth, was arrested and bailed on suspicion of violent disorder, police said.
The 45-year-old said he was "stupid and wrong" for the way he reacted and he never intended to hurt the horse.
Newcastle United, who lost the game 3-0, said it was "embarrassed and appalled" at the violence.
Mr Rogerson said: "It's all a nightmare. I came out of the pub... then we were in the middle of all these horses and all of a sudden I was stuck in the middle of it all.
"Somebody set a rocket off, or a banger or something and it spooked the horses.
"The next thing I knew, the horse came running at me and I instantly reacted, stupidly and wrongly.
"What I think I did, because it all happened so quickly, I think I went to stop it with my left hand on its neck and I've punched it in the nose and I was stupid.
"I panicked and it was just an instant reaction, I wasn't intending to hurt the horse."'Feeble excuse'
The animal, Bud, of West Yorkshire's mounted section, was not hurt in the incident.
Mr Rogerson said he had a scarf over his face during the incident because a tooth filling had dropped out and the "cold air was getting in".
He said: "I know it sounds a feeble excuse, but that's the truth, sorry.
"I am not a thug, I have never been involved with football hooligans, I have never been in trouble before.
"I never set out to go to the match to cause trouble."
A spokesman for Newcastle United said: "The club will take the strongest possible action against those involved in the disturbances and will impose immediate lifetime bans on all those found guilty."
Mr Rogerson said he did not want to be banned from St James' Park, but he would "accept it".
He said: "I'm disgusted with myself, I have let my family down, I have let myself down and I let Newcastle down."