The urban cowboy who held up traffic and baffled rubberneckers on Monday when he moseyed down the Outerbridge Crossing toward Staten Island has now been arrested for animal cruelty.
Police had already confiscated Tod "Doc" Mishler's two horses after the incident (he also received two summonses), but he was only arrested Thursday morning after the ASPCA evaluated the horses' health and found that they had multiple injuries and were extremely malnourished.
An NYPD spokesman tells us Mishler was charged with "torture, injure, not feed animal."
"It's not good," one police source told the Post about the horses, named Hope & Charity. "They have multiple injuries, open sores, underweight, dehydrated. One had lameness due to an obstruction in his hoof."
The 80-year-old Mishler, who frequently rides his horses cross-country to raise awareness about child hunger, previously told CBS that his dream is to "ride across the country and let the people know that we have the money to feed every starving child in the world." But he's become something of a controversial figure—a Facebook group called "Stop Doc Mishler" has argued that he is neglecting his horses. In 2011, he was arrested in Wisconsin and accused of neglecting and underfeeding the horses, but those charges were later dropped.
— Ryan Calvert (@calvs88) June 27, 2016
For his part, Mishler told SI Advance that he was mistreated by officials, and just wanted to get his horses back. "In Montana, they hang horse thieves," he noted.