A New York man has been sentenced to 15 months in jail for "mercilessly" torturing his neighbor's cat and abandoning the injured animal in a trash can while live-streaming it all on Facebook, authorities said.
The Richmond County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday announced the sentencing for Tyrike Richardson, of Staten Island, after the 21-year-old previously pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty, the top count E felony. As part of the plea, Richardson was banned from possessing animals for 10 years, he must register with the New York City Animal Abuse Registry and he must pay a judgment order of $8,226 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
“Not only did this defendant mercilessly torture an innocent animal, but he showed off his sick and twisted actions by broadcasting video of the incident to Facebook," Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a statement Wednesday. "My office will not tolerate this type of disturbing and criminal behavior."
According to an indictment and court documents, Richardson used a stick and a knife to strike his neighbor's cat, named Chester, multiple times in the face, head and body in an apartment in late June 2017. He also threw a chair at Chester and then dumped the injured cat in a garbage can outside, leaving him to die.
Richardson streamed live video of the abuse on Facebook, according to the indictment and court documents.
Officers from the New York City Police Department's Staten Island Gang Squad rescued Chester from the trash can and later arrested Richardson.
Chester, a white and black cat with bright green eyes, was examined by an ASPCA veterinarian. The veterinarian determined the animal had suffered serious physical injuries, including blunt force trauma, head trauma, pneumothorax, rib fractures, contusions on the ear, a bloody nose, blood in his urine, broken teeth, tongue abrasions, liver and kidney injuries as well as severe muscle injury, authorities said.
Fortunately, under the care of the ASPCA, Chester made a "full recovery" and is now being cared for in a "loving home," authorities said.
"Chester experienced pain and suffering at the hands of an individual who then heartlessly left him for dead in a garbage can," Howard Lawrence, vice president of the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement Wednesday. "Thanks to the NYPD’s swift response and thorough search, Chester survived his traumatic ordeal."
Lawrence continued, "The ASPCA commends the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for securing justice in this case and, once again, proving there is no place in New York City for animal cruelty."