Cat Beating Leads to Arrest at SoCal Mall

Cat Beating Leads to Arrest at SoCal Mall
Tomi Tapio / Flickr

A Northridge man allegedly lashed out at his girlfriend's cat after he tried to pull it out of her closet and it wouldn't budge, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) says.

The cat bit, and the poor feline was beaten severely, the organization says. Now suspect Aldo Rivera Nieves, 28, faces a charge of suspicion of felony animal cruelty:

In a statement sent to the Weekly, the spcaLA says the Northridge man was arrested Friday at the Glendale Galleria with the help of the organization.

City News Service reports that he faces a Sept. 5 court date in the case. Here's what the animal-rights organization says happened to the victim:

Umechan, whose name means "little plum," suffered from a traumatic brain injury, missing teeth and several other abnormalities consistent with blunt force trauma. Rivera purportedly attempted to remove Umechan from a closet by force, at which point Rivera claims she bit him, triggering his alleged attack at his girlfriend's residence in Northridge.

The woman wasn't home and returned to her residence to find a "bloodied cat," spcaLA says. She took it to a vet for medical treatment.

The alleged attack happened in December but the investigation just last week led to an arrest, apparently.

The group's president, Madeline Bernstein, says:

Regardless of the object of abuse -- animal or human -- violence cannot be tolerated. Today, the family cat is treated as a punching bag, who is the target tomorrow? The link between animal abuse, domestic violence and child abuse is real, proven by endless studies, and must be broken.

Rivera faces as many as three years behind bars and a $20,000 fine if he's successfully prosecuted.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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