The carriage horse driver arrested for allegedly abusing his horse can no longer be a carriage horse driver.
The Post reports, "The Department of Consumer Affairs last month yanked the license of Saverio Colarusso, who was arrested in December after cops noticed that his horse was pulling a carriage despite a painful injury to its hind leg." The horse, Blondie, was spotted by a police officer because she was struggling to pull her load. Colarusso later admitted that Blondie had been injured four days earlier.
Colarusso was previously busted for drinking on the job in 2010 and was suspended for a month. Demos Demopoulos, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553, which represents Central Park's carriage horse drivers, said, "This shows that the regulations work. We put the safety of our horses first and believe the City should not allow anyone to drive a carriage that does not share that priority. That is why we proposed these best in the nation regulations in 2010 and pushed to make them law. It is up to the Department of Consumer Affairs to investigate and apply the law. The driver deserves due process and will get that in an upcoming hearing."
PETA had some thoughts too: Dan Mathews, Senior Vice President, said, "PETA commends NYC’s Department of Consumer Affairs for revoking the license of carriage driver Saverio Colarusso. This serious case of animal cruelty is just one example of why the horses should be retired from pounding the streets of New York. As we've seen time and time again, carriage drivers like Saverio Colarusso have no regard for their horses or the few laws meant to regulate them."
Recently, a carriage horse driver has been accused of lying about his horse's age and health; the driver has claimed the vet was confused. And over in Albany, Assembly Speaker Sheldon SIlver has blocked a bill protecting the drivers.