A muscle-bound Queens, New York, man is being held without bail after hurling his 50-pound pet Shar-Pei to its death from a third-story window.
The attorney for 30-year-old bodybuilder Milan Rysa is recommending that his client undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial, the Queens District Attorney’s office reports.
The killing occurred on September 12, around 8:30 p.m. in the borough’s Astoria section. Rysa initially told police that he had let the dog, named Brooklyn, out of the apartment to go to the roof and that its death was an accident. But a stunned eyewitness, who has declined to be named, told authorities a very different story:
I saw it coming out the window. I heard the yelp when it hit the ground. I heard the thud. It just missed [hitting] a woman.
Lori Scharpino, founder of Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue, is quoted by the Queens Chronicle as saying:
It’s just disgusting. We have to do whatever we can to get justice for this dog. There is never justice for these animals. They just let people get away with a slap on the wrist and that is just not acceptable.
One possible theory in the case is that Rysa was suffering from “roid rage” when he killed the dog. Roid rage is extremely aggressive or hostile behavior associated with taking large doses of steroids.
Rysa has been charged with animal cruelty and second-degree reckless endangerment. If found guilty, the maximum sentence he could face under current New York law is one year in prison. This is a of miscarriage of justice, if ever there was one.
Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said last Thursday that he has received calls and messages from at least 100 constituents who are livid over the incident. Many have posted their thoughts on Vallone’s Facebook page. One post read:
This guy is a disgrace to humanity and a future serial killer. Is he going to hurt a child or a person next? I don’t understand how people who heard the poor dog being abused didn’t do anything to help. Animal abuse is a crime.
Another outraged Queens resident wrote:
What a sick and demented mind. Whether mentally ill or morally twisted, this person should not be allowed to walk the streets. It’s just heartbreaking to think of a living thing being hurled through the air like this by the person he presumably trusted. So sad.
Vallone, who is himself an animal rights activist and pet lover, has assured posters he will work to see that Rysa receives the punishment he deserves. Vallone is also investigating why the ASPCA wasn’t notified immediately and why a necropsy wasn’t performed on the canine.
UPDATE: Since this article was posted, I received an email from Bret Hopman of the ASPCA informing me that a necropsy was in fact performed on this pooch. The sources I consulted, which claimed that the procedure had not been done, were in error.
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