Toms River dog drowning defendant sentenced to jail and restitution
The Toms River man whose dog drowned in his pickup, after it cracked through the icy surface of the Toms and sank two years ago, is sentenced to 180 days in the Ocean County Jail.
Andrew Mayer, 29, was also ordered to pay a $155 fine, plus $1,000 each to Toms River Fire Company 1 and the New Jersey State Police, for costs connected to the extensive search and rescue operation that unfolded on March 1, 2015. He pleaded guilty, in September, one count of animal cruelty.
The sentence and financial penalty are far below those sought by prosecutors. The State suggested 364 days in jail and payments of $6,273.76 and $8,370,60, respectively, to state police and the fire company, plus a five-year ban on pet ownership.
Investigators said that Mayer had driven his pickup truck onto the river's frozen surface to do some doughnuts - spin the vehicle in circles.
According to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, Judge James M. Blaney acknowledged the need for a degree of incarceration and financial responsiblity. But he also noted Mayer's remorse, his admisison of recklessness, and his lack of intent to hurt his dog Rolo. The judge declined to bar Mayer from owning pets, and set no probation period.
As part of Mayer's sentence, charges of criminal mischief and water pollution were dismissed.
In an unrelated incident, Mayer was given a disorderly-persons charge by Monmouth authorities last April, in connection with a fire in Keyport that destroyed three buildings, displaced four families and required hospitalization for eight firefighters and a charity volunteer. Authorities alleged that he had performed roofing work at the site beforehand.