3/31 – Driver Charged with Dragging Dog with Car

March 31, 2014
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By John Burton

HIGHLANDS – Borough police arrested a Middletown man late Friday evening for allegedly driving his vehicle while his dog was attached to it, dragging and injuring the animal.

Authorities have charged Keith A. Guastmacchia, 49,who lives in the Belford section, with animal cruelty.

A police patrol officer saw a vehicle stopped at the intersection of Miller Street and Highway 36 intersection at about 11:27 p.m., with a small dog lying in the street next to the vehicle, with a leash attached to the dog and vehicle. The officer also saw blood in the roadway, according to statement released by police.

Police said Guastmacchia was the vehicle’s driver and lone occupant. Authorities charged that Guastmacchia attached the dog to the car by its leash, but following an argument on his cell phone with a friend, Guastmacchia angrily drove away forgetting about the dog.

The department’s animal control officer contacted the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA), which will conduct the investigation.

The dog was transferred to an area animal hospital for treatment of what authorities said were its “substantial injuries.”

Guastmacchia was issued a summons pending his court appearance.

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