A Mineola man was arrested last Tuesday after police discovered four dead and mutilated kittens in a trash chute in the Mineola apartment building in which he lived, Nassau County police said.
Justin Visconti was charged with four counts of aggravated animal cruelty, which is a Class E felony in New York State, Nassau police spokesman Det. Richard LeBrun said at a news conference last Wednesday.
“These cats were badly mutilated. These cats were badly tortured by some means,” Jed Painter, a spokesman for the district attorney’s Animal Crime Unit, said.
LeBrun said police were alerted to the dead kittens last Monday after they were found by residents and building employees at the Porter Regency apartment building on Lincoln Avenue. The cats were discovered by residents over a period of several weeks, police said.
The four cats were found wrapped in duct tape and covered in sheets inside cardboard boxes disposed into the building’s dumpsters.
Lebrun said police suspect the cats were not Visconti’s, but possibly stray cats. Visconti lives in the building, Lebrun said.
After investigating the evidence, the evidence lead back to Visconti, Lebrun said.
“The search warrant produced extensive evidence to show that defendant Justin Visconti was responsible for the death of these kittens and cats through blunt force trauma,” Lebrun said.
Visconti is set to return to criminal court Jan. 6 and is being represented by Hauppauge defense attorney Anthony Lapinta. The case is being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office. Efforts to reach Lapinta were unavailing.
Lebrun and Painter said that Visconti has a prior criminal history including stalking, grand larceny, and aggravated harassment. He does not have any prior animal abuse convictions.