Stop Horse Drawn CarriagesCarriage Driver Is Charged With Animal Cruelty
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Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages
December 2013

The NY Times broke the story on Friday, December 20th. Carriage Driver Is Charged With Animal Cruelty - A carriage horse driver with a checkered history was charged on Friday with animal cruelty after a police officer observed him working a horse that was visibly injured, according to court documents.

The officer, Brian Coll, was on patrol in Central Park shortly before midnight on Wednesday when he noticed a horse struggling to pull the weight of the carriage to which it was yoked. He questioned the driver, Saverio Colarusso, and learned that the horse, Blondie, had been hurt for four days, according to court documents. Despite the injury, Mr. Colarusso had worked Blondie for five hours that day, Officer Coll testified in the complaint. He then summoned Sgt. Raymond Aviles, a mounted police officer with training in dealing with horses. "The horse had an injury to the rear left leg," Officer Coll testified, "causing it to have difficulty walking and substantial pain." Mr. Colarusso was arrested. If found guilty, he could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

It is not the first time Mr. Colarusso has gotten in trouble. In 2010, he was charged with drinking while on duty after being spotted drinking a beer while standing next to his carriage. Two other bottles of liquor were found inside the carriage. He has also been fined for driving his horse through city streets at unauthorized times, failing to keep a daily log and not turning on the lamps on the side of his carriage after dark.

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