Originally created 05/18/98

Romantic trip to theater lands pony in shelter



LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Arnold "Beau" Kaye hitched up his daughter's pony to a carriage so he and his girlfriend could travel in style to see the new Robert Redford flick, The Horse Whisperer.

Gwinnett County police didn't find the idea romantic -- impounding blue-eyed Comanche, the Shetland pony.

Mr. Kaye plans to retrieve the pony from the Gwinnett County Animal Control center today. He expects to know then whether he will face charges of cruelty to animals, animal abandonment and criminal damage to property.

"Basically, I'm an animal lover. I don't think I broke any laws," said Mr. Kaye, who took a cab home. "My girlfriend is humiliated. She wouldn't even walk next to me she was so embarrassed."

The couple made the 30-minute journey to the AMC Colonial 18 theater in Lawrenceville, an Atlanta suburb, mainly by taking secondary roads. The trip takes five minutes by car.

Mr. Kaye tied the brown and white pony to a maple tree when they arrived and went into the cinema.

When they returned about three hours later, the animal was gone. Mr. Kaye, 52, said an officer told him it was the "most stupid thing he'd ever seen."

Mr. Kaye, a Gwinnett County lawyer, last made headlines for defending a Lilburn boy who wanted to keep a potbellied pig for a pet. The state Supreme Court upheld a city ordinance restricting pet pigs to lots of one acre or more.

Mr. Kaye hopes police will admit they made a mistake in towing the pony.

"It's sad when you can't have good, clean fun," he said.