New Details of Michael Barisone Case Involving Shooting of Woman, Front Page News in New York

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Aug. 9, 2019

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The attempted murder charges against the American Olympic dressage team’s Michaael Barisone was front page banner headline “Unbridled Rage” in the New York Post Friday while official details gave a gripping account of the shooting of a woman while her fiance fought the alleged shooter in rural New Jersey.

The New York Post report was splashed over the front page of the tabloid daily with two full pages inside devoted to the story of the 54-year-old rider’s alleged shooting a woman student twice in the chest.

Michael, whose Barisone Dressage is based at his farm in Long Valley, New Jersey 55 miles/88kms west of New York City, is in custody awaiting arraignment in Morris County court on two counts of attempted murder and weapons possession charges. If convicted, it could lead to a lengthy prison term.

(Reports of the New Jersey shooting incident came at the same time as The New York Times published a lengthy report on the lifetime ban imposed on George Morris for alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor. The report named individuals who accused the 81-year-old Morris of sexual misconduct up to 50 years ago.)

The wounding of Lauren Kanarek occurred Wednesday at the Long Valley equestrian center where she had been staying while training with the goal of becoming a dressage instructor.

Details in the case were included in an affidavit of probable cause filed with the attempted murder and weapons charges against Barisone, a member of U.S. Olympic dressage team at the 2008 games in Beijing and coached Allison Brock on Rosevelt on the U.S. bronze medal team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

As he was taken into custody by police, Barisone repeatedly said “I had a good life,” authorities said in the court documents and reported on NJ.com, a news service for New Jersey newspapers.

Michael Barisone (left) with USA dressage team mates Debbie McDonald, Courtney King and Steffen Peters at Hong Kong for the Beijing Olympics. © 2008 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Lauren, originally from New Jersey but is based in North Carolina, is in the Morristown Medical Center.

 The police report said the incident stemmed from an ongoing landlord-tenant dispute. Lauren had been living with her fiance in a two-story house at the farm and Barisone wanted her out.

Kanarek and Barisone were having a brief conversation outside the home when he shot her twice in the chest with a 9mm Ruger handgun, authorities said in the complaint.

Kanarek’s fiance, who was inside the home, looked outside to see Barisone brandishing a pink and black handgun, authorities said. The former Olympian shot at him but missed, breaking a windowpane in the door, authorities said.

The man ran outside to subdue Barisone until police arrived, authorities said. Kanarak’s fiance, identified only by his initials in court documents, broke his wrist in the struggle, police said.

When officers arrived at the 53-acre farm, they found the man still on top of Barisone, who was lying on the handgun, police said.

Kanarek was taken to Morristown Medical Center in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery. She has been upgraded to stable condition as of Thursday night, friends said.

Barisone was arrested by Washington Township police and taken to Morristown Medical Center for injuries to his head and arms, police said.

Cops had been called to the home several times for disputes between the renter and tenant in the week leading up to the shooting, the complaint says. It’s unclear how long Kanarek and her fiance had been renting the home, but she lived on the farm at least part time, a friend said.

A court date has not yet been scheduled, but defendants must have their first appearance within 48 hours of being charged. Charges were filed Thursday afternoon.

As recently as June, she posted pictures representing Barisone Dressage at a competition in New Jersey.

However, the relationship turned sour, according to a series of posts on her Facebook page, which has since been turned private. She updated her friends on the tensions rising on the farm, though she never named the person by name.

In a separate post, Kanarek said she was told to “sleep with one eye open.”

She also wrote on her Facebook page that she planned to file a report against Barisone via SafeSport, which collects reports of sexual assault and misconduct in Olympic sports. SafeSport did not immediately respond for comment.