Guilty plea, December sentencing for Toms River dog drowning
TOMS RIVER - Andrew Mayer, accused of leaving his dog to die in his pickup truck after it crashed through the ice covering the Toms River in March 2015, faces a possible 364 days in jail for his guilty plea to a third-degree charge of animal cruelty.
The Monday admission was revealed today by the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Tannebaum-Newman will ask for the jail time as a condition of probation, along with restitution for first-responders and a waiver for owning companion animals. Sentencing is scheduled for December 9.
Mayet, now 29, was accused of driving his vehicle onto the ice-coated surface on March 1, 2015, leaving Rolo in the cab while he escaped as it sank, and failing to notify authorities when he reached land.
A rescue operation sprang into action, involving the U.S. Coast Guard and New Jersey State Police aviation units, NJSPD and local marine units, and police officers, firefighters and first-aid teams from Toms River, Pine Beach, Beachwood and Island Heights.
Ensuing investigations involved New Jersey state troopers, the New Jersey SPCA, Ocean County detectives and police in Toms River, Pine Beach, Beachwood and Island Heights. He was indicted in June 2015.
In April of this year, Mayer was hit with disorderly-persons counts in the aftermath of a blaze in Keyport that destroyed three buildings, sent eight firefighters to hospitalization and caused more than $600,000 worth of damage.
Witnesses reported seeing Mayer performing roof repairs before the flames broke out. He was charged with working without a permit or license, and for driving without a license.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.