Law bites man who sued over animal cruelty

This case has gone to the dogs.

A Mamaroneck man who told a cop that he kept his dog in a locked car for up to six hours — then sued the government over being charged with animal cruelty — was muzzled by a county judge who threw out the man’s complaint on Friday.

According to court papers, the legal barking began on Nov. 4, 2008, when Mamaroneck Town Police Officer Daniel Smith responded to a call about a dog being locked inside of a parked lot. When the owner, Steven M. Schwartz, returned, the officer asked him how long the pooch was parked. Schwartz replied, “I don’t know, four, five, maybe six hours. I do it all the time.”

The officer charged Schwartz with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, and a misdemeanor complaint was filed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office One problem: the DA’s office filed it in the wrong court. The Town Court said it should have been filed with the Village Court, and dismissed the charge for lack of jurisdiction.

Schwartz, not satisfied that he got out of a criminal charge, sued the Town of Mamaroneck for false arrest and malicious prosecution in 2009. He never denied leaving the dog for hours, but claimed he checked on the dog and left water for him in the back seat, court papers stated. Schwartz also accused the officer of charging him after they argued. The officer, in his report, described Schwartz as “agitated, abusive, irate, and belligerent.”

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Colabella dismissed the complaint, saying the officer had probable cause to charge Schwartz with animal cruelty.

Daughter killer to be sentenced tomorrow


Stacey Pagli (left) will be sentenced to 20 years in prison tomorrow, April 5, for killing her 18-year-old daughter during an argument in the family’s Manhattanville College apartment last year.

Pagli, 39, was allowed to plead guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter, after psychiatrists for the prosecution and the defense  concluded she was under an “extreme emotional disturbance” when she strangled Marissa Pagli on the Purchase campus.

She originally was charged with second-degeree murder.

Pagli’s lawyer has said she is currently taking medication for depression. Her family history includes mental illness and several suicides.

Pagli attempted suicide after killing her daughter, and had at least one suicide attempt at the Westchester County jail, where she has been held since her arrest.

She will be eligible for parole in 2028, when her remaining daughter will be in her early 20s.