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Cruelty charge dropped for biker with dog

Nov. 15, 2011 at 4:30 AM

TUCKERTON, N.J., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- New Jersey authorities dismissed an animal cruelty charge against a man who promised not to drive to work again with his dog behind his motorcycle windshield.

Gyula Szatmari, 56, of Tuckerton pleaded guilty Tuesday to an unsafe driving charge and the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it decided to drop an animal cruelty charge when Szatmari promised to stop riding the motorcycle with his Boston terrier, Bosco, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reported Monday.

"Because he pleaded guilty to unsafe driving, we dismissed the animal cruelty charge with the stipulation that he would never do it again in Monmouth County," said Victor "Buddy" Amato, chief law enforcement officer for the Monmouth County SPCA.

The charges stemmed from an Aug. 24 incident when Szatmari was pulled over while riding his motorcycle to a construction job with Bosco on a padded platform behind the windshield.

Szatmari was ordered to pay a $150 fine for unsafe driving, a $250 surcharge and $49 in court costs, said his lawyer, James Curran of Milltown.

"I think he's going to get a behind-the-rider dog carrier in recognition of the animal control officer's concerns," Curran said Tuesday.

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