New York

New Jersey Man Whose Truck Fell Through Ice, Killing Dog, To Represent Self

The New Jersey man whose dog was inside a pickup truck that plunged through the ice on a frozen river earlier this year is planning to represent himself in his upcoming trial.

Andrew Mayer said at an arraignment Monday that he plans to present his own defense after he was indicted on animal cruelty and criminal mischief charges after his pickup truck sank in the icy Toms River on March 1, killing his 2-year-old boxer mix named Rolo. 

Mayer was driving his pickup on the ice with a friend when the vehicle plunged through the ice. The two men were able to safely escape the truck as it sank, but Rolo, who was in the back seat, perished.

Bystanders who saw the truck doing doughnuts on the river called police. But by the time they arrived, the truck had submerged with Rolo inside. 

A friend of Mayer who asked that NBC 4 New York not use his name said Mayer tried to get the dog out of the backseat before the truck crashed through the ice, but the dog was terrified -- and the vehicle sank so quickly.

"He would do anything for that dog, anything," the friend said. "That was his baby."

Prosecutors have said they will seek a prison sentence in the case. 

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