A San Rafael man was charged with animal cruelty Friday on allegations he dragged, kicked and swung a 10-week-old puppy by the leash on the Golden Gate Bridge, authorities said.
Paul Stephen Golyer, 23, was arrested Thursday evening after a man was seen swinging a dog on the bridge, the California Highway Patrol said. The CHP found Golyer and the injured puppy at Vista Point, and learned that bridge police had seen him kicking and dragging the puppy on the bridge walkway, said CHP Officer Eric Hohmeister.
"CHP officers examined the dog and observed that its rear paws were raw and bleeding and its breathing was labored and short," Hohmeister said. "The dog, who was mixed-breed puppy that appeared to be merely a few months old, appeared to be in pain and had possible internal injuries."
Police arrested Golyer, who was described as a transient, and booked him into Marin County Jail. His bail is set at $20,000.
On Friday, the district attorney's office charged Golyer with felony cruelty to an animal, a charge that can carry a prison sentence and a fine of up to $20,000. Golyer is also alleged to have a prior strike against the three-strikes law because of a 2009 conviction in Arizona for attempted armed robbery, a county prosecutor said.
The puppy was taken to the Marin Humane Society animal shelter in Novato. Carrie Harrington, a spokeswoman for the shelter, said the puppy was in "guarded" condition Friday with "traumatic pulmonary contusions," or lung bruising.
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