Authorities in Iowa say a man is facing criminal charges after allegedly stole his former roommate’s pet cat and sent him video footage of the animal being abused.
According to the New York Post, 30-year-old Chad Toney is accused of forcing his way into the victim’s Benton County home earlier this month and made off with his cat, Gladys.
Toney allegedly went on to mistreat the cat through abusive acts that included pushing its head into the snow and wrapping a wire around its neck, as reported by the Des Moines Register.
Benton County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chris Rider issued a statement indicating the homeowner, identified as Spencer Kimm, saw the footage and “decided to call law enforcement because the video is disturbing.”
Kimm later spoke to local reporters, describing his reaction to being reunited with his cat after witnessing the alleged abuse and five days after the animal was reportedly taken.
“The second I saw her, I was like a kid in a candy shop,” he told KGAN.
He said Gladys was “really dirty” and received a bath immediately after her return.
Police suspect Toney was motivated by a desire to communicate with Kimm’s sister and staged the abuse as a bid for her attention.
When Kimm told him to return the cat and threatened to expose the video evidence on social media, Toney allegedly called his bluff, daring Kimm to “go viral” with the content.
Kimm reportedly did just that, sparking a series of events that led to the cat’s return and a police interest in Toney.
The suspect reportedly turned himself in to authorities on Thursday and is expected to face charges including a felony count of burglary in the third degree and a misdemeanor count of animal abuse.
[Featured image: Chad Toney, Benton County Sheriff’s Office/Spencer Kimm and Gladys, video screenshot]