Olympic Equestrian Charged With Attempted Murder at Riding Center
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP (Morris) — A famed Olympic equestrian and owner of a horseback riding center has been charged with shooting and trying to kill a man and a woman on his property on Wednesday.
Investigators have not said what prompted the shooting but one of the victims appears to have predicted a week earlier that her life was in danger.
Michael Barisone, 54, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Morris County prosecutors said a 911 call was made about 2:13 p.m. Wednesday for help at Barisone Dressage on West Mill Road in the Long Valley section.
Police said they found a woman who had been shot several times as well as another injured man. Police said Barisone was on the scene and that they found a handgun.
Authorities have not publicly identified the victims or their relationship to Barisone but the woman’s loved ones identified her on social media.
On her Facebook page, Lauren Kanarek, who appears to have kept her animals at the Barisone facility, wrote on Aug. 2 that she was being “bullied by a 6’3 man. Bullied to the point I’m afraid.” She does not provide specific details or identify the bully but adds in a response to a friend’s concern that the situation was “somewhat hilarious- but also possibly, life threatening - so..... I guess I will laugh at the stupidity NOW- so I’m at least in hysterics when I get 'whacked.'”
In another comment on the thread, she indicated that she was mounting a legal case of some kind against the people making threats.
"Of course we are leaving. Just a few more things to work out," she wrote. "I’ll settle for nothing. Nothing less than the Justice they deserve for being lying, criminal frauds."
It was not known Thursday whether Barisone had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Barisone is well known in the sport of dressage. He appeared on "The Colbert Report" in 2012 to promote the specialized form of riding. He was a member of the 2008 Olympic Team and the 1997 Nations Cup team, which won a gold medal. He has run horseriding clinics around the country.