Roosevelt James Johnson, 34, has been arrested on animal cruelty charges for “torturing a small child’s hamster” in his presence, according to the San Antonio, Texas Police Department.
According to the complaint, on May 11, the suspect squeezed the pet to death “during an episode of domestic violence”. The accusation of animal abuse, together with other charges such as possession of weapons and drugs and the fact that he has a prior record, means that Johnson faces up to 25 years in prison.
As reported by local media, the detainee’s lawyer has declined to make any statement.
The FBI updated its UCR NIBRS Program policies, effective January 1, 2016, to specifically include cruelty to animals as a specific crime category so that law enforcement agencies should include it when submitting crime statistics to the FBI and various studies in the US have found that 71-86% of female victims of violence report mistreatment of their companion animals as well.