The 80-year-old horse-toting cowboy spotted around the South Amboy area this week before causing backups and being ticketed on the Outerbridge Crossing has been arrested in New York City, on allegations of animal abuse.

Police say Tod "Doc" Mishler was taken into custody Thursday, three days after riding across the Outerbridge Crossing linking New Jersey with Staten Island.

Mishler has crossed the country several times spreading messages of faith and awareness of child hunger.

Animal advocate Christine Whaley leads a group called "Stop Doc Mishler" whose members say Mishler neglects his horses. His two horses were seized Tuesday for veterinary examinations.

On Monday, Mishler was issued a court summons for blocking traffic and trespassing after he rode one horse and led another across the bridge.

Monday morning, New Jersey 101.5 began receiving calls and emails from people who'd spotted Mishler in South Amboy and Perth Amboy. Josue Espinoza — who called into the Dennis and Judi show — said Mishler had come from Montana, and had told Espinoza he was on his way to Brooklyn for a cowboy convention.

“He did not ride his horse from Montana,” Judi said. “He didn’t.”

“Brooklyn has a lot of funky things these days. It wouldn’t surprise me,” Dennis said on the air Monday.

Last year, Mishler rode from Montana to Texas and then Washington, D.C. to spread messages of faith and raise support for Bread for the World, which combat’s children’s hunger.

He’d made a similar cross-country to California and Texas in 2003.

Shannon Marek spotted Doc in South Amboy on Sunday.

“what an amazing soul to meet!” she wrote on Facebook. “He says ‘everyone should live the dream.'”

Espinoza told New Jersey 101.5 via Facebook messages he spotted Mishler around Smith Street and Convery Boulevard (Route 35) in Perth Amboy Monday morning:

“I asked him ‘When does he stop?’ and he said, ‘Whenever the horses get tired.’ I asked him ‘When is that?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know. It’s up to them,” Espinoza recounted. “I also asked him how long he’s been out. He said he’s doesn’t know, doesn’t care. He bought three Snapples — one for him and one for each of his horses

“And I’m not making this up.”

Espinoza said he was curious about one more point:

“I asked him if he has gotten stopped by police. He said, ‘No. I better not. It’s a horse.’"


The Associated Press contributed to this story