New York City police have arrested an 80-year-old man who gained national fame by riding his horse around the country saying he was a cowboy who wanted to help hungry children.

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

A police spokeswoman says charges are pending. The exact charges are unclear.

But animal advocates say Mishler has abused the horses that took him on what he says is his God-sent mission. They say he didn't feed them properly, exhausted them and gave them painful saddle sores.

The two horses he brought to New York were seized Monday for examinations.

Mishler was issued a court summons for blocking traffic and trespassing. He couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.