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UPDATE IN TOMS RIVER SUNKEN PICK-UP CASE

Andrew L. Mayer, 28, of Toms River, who was indicted on June 30, 2015, for 3rd Degree Animal Cruelty in the death of his dog (Rolo) and 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief for causing a substantial interruption in public emergency services, had an arraignment before Judge James M. Blaney, J.S.C. today.

During the brief proceeding Mayer stated he wished to go Pro Se (represent himself). Though Judge Blaney advised him to consider applying for a Public Defender or hire an attorney, Mayer insisted he did not want to get an attorney. Judge Blaney subsequently adjourned the case to December 7, 2015 to afford Mayer the ability to review his discovery and reconsider getting an attorney. The prosecution provided initial discovery and a plea recommendation, making it clear to Mayer that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office will seek a sentence of incarceration.

The case stems from Mayer’s acts on March 1, 2015, when he allegedly purposely, knowingly or recklessly failed to provide necessary care for and protection of his dog from harm by driving his pickup truck onto the frozen Toms River and as a result the vehicle cracked through the ice and his dog died.

Mayer then failed to notify authorities of this incident when he got safely to shore, resulting in a huge rescue operation that took place for hours involving the United States Coast Guard’s Aviation Unit, The New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, NJ State Police/local marine units, multiple local police departments, fire companies and First Aid squads from Toms River, Beachwood, Pine Beach and Island Heights.

Mayer has been free on his own recognizance to answer the charges. The maximum he could face on each charge would be five years in New Jersey State Prison.

This case was a joint investigation by the NJ State Police, NJ SPCA, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the Toms River, Pine Beach, Beachwood and Island Heights Police Departments. Prosecuting attorney is Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Tannenbaum-Newman.

Pick up in ice

Toms River Search & Recovery Operations

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