NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A couple of ponies decided to go horsing around in the snow during a late-winter storm Tuesday on Staten Island.
One woman posted a picture of the ponies crossing Hylan Boulevard near Preston Avenue around 10 a.m.
The animals roamed the snowy streets before an off-duty police officer rounded them up and tethered them to a lamppost using towing straps.
As CBS2's Erin Logan reports, the "cowboy officer" ended up saving a four-year-old girl a lot of tears.
Jules Nasso was worried he'd end up breaking his daughter Julia's heart if he didn't find the ponies after they somehow took off.
"It was a tough way to wake up this morning," he said. "I was concerned."
Nasso says he checked on the two ponies -- named Blondie and Jules -- around midnight to make sure they were safe. After all, the animals are from Ocala, FL so this is the first winter they've been exposed to snow.
Their owner says it wasn't until 9:00 this morning that he realized they had escaped from the stable. Nasso says a neighbor called him saying the police were looking for his horses.
"I was concerned they were going to hurt somebody or they could've hurt somebody," he said. So he immediately jumped in his car, noticing less than a half mile down the road that police were protecting his beloved ponies.
The officer is now being called the "cowboy officer" by Mayor Bill de Blasio at an afternoon press conference with Chief Terrence Monahan.
"He had tow straps in his truck," Monahan said. "So he grabbed them, tied them to a lamp post."
Nasso says he bought the ponies for his daughter last year and she's very attached to them. Luckily for little Julia, both Blondie and Jules will sleep a bit warmer tonight.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.