Nottingham City councillor Malcolm Wood, who took up the office of sheriff in May, offered the boy and his family his 'sincerest and most heartfelt apologies'.
Mr Wood said: 'True to the legend, I played the old- fashioned role of sheriff to the utmost - acting the bad guy for the benefit of the crowd. On this occasion I went right over the top and in the process hit an innocent bystander. That is unforgivable.
'I'm not entirely sure of the reasons. Whether it was my medication combined with a drink that caused me to act this way I can only guess at.'