A man whose dog died after his truck fell through the ice of the Toms River after he drove on it has reached a plea bargain that calls for jail time, authorities said Tuesday.
Andrew L. Mayer, 29, of Toms River, who was indicted on June 30, 2015, for the death of his dog Rolo, has reached a plea bargain with prosecutors that calls for 364 days of jail time, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Mayer pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty Monday and will be sentenced by Superior Court Judge James Blaney Dec. 9.
The case stems from Mayer’s actions on March 1, 2015, when he drove his pickup truck onto the ice of the Toms River. But at one point, he drove over an area of thin ice and the truck fell through. Mayer escaped, but the dog was trapped in the car and did not survive.
Making matters worse, Mayer did not notify authorities when he got safely to shore, resulting in a large rescue operation that took place for hours involving the United States Coast Guard’s Aviation Unit, The New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, State Police and local marine units, multiple local police departments, fire companies and first aid squads from Toms River, Beachwood, Pine Beach and Island Heights
Mayer admitted that he “purposely, knowingly or recklessly failed to provide necessary care for and protection of his dog from harm” by driving the pickup truck onto the frozen Toms River, which resulted in the dog’s death.