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Carriage horse driver faces animal cruelty charges

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Despite all of the problems that have been in the New York City limelight concerning carriage horses, drivers and traffic safety concerns, a Central Park carriage horse driver has been cited with animal cruelty. He was stopped in New York City on Dec. 18. News about this latest carriage horse incident started hitting the media and my source, the Daily Gazette, published the animal abuse arrest on Dec. 21.

According to a New York City police officer, carriage driver Saverio Colarusso was using a horse with an injury. In fact, Colarusso had been working the same horse, with an injured leg, for four consecutive days, despite the fact the horse was having difficulties pulling the carriage.

A police officer halted Colarusso in Central Park late Wednesday evening when he noticed the horse was showing obvious distress.

Making this case more bothersome is the fact that Colarusso has been on the police radar before. The New York Times reports ( that Colarusso has had prior run-in with police. At a time when nerve endings are frayed on both sides of the carriage horse issue, it does not bode well for any carriage operator to make adverse news.

Colarusso has a 2010 charge for drinking on the job. Another time, Colarusso was fined because he was “driving his horse on the street during unauthorized hours” and other charges.

There has been no communication from Colarusso or his lawyer.

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