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Saturday, Jan 20, 2007County: Rice
Alleged: Mitchell Ryan Bongers
A Faribault man was charged with felony animal cruelty after investigators say he killed a cat with a microwave oven.
Mitchell Ryan Bongers, 18, 2687 158th St. E, was charged Friday with one count of overworking or mistreating an animal causing death, which carries with it a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court, the abuse occurred at a Jan. 20 party at a house in Warsaw Township.
Bongers told Investigator Mark Hlady of the Rice County Sheriff's Office that everyone at the party was playing with the cat and it turned to abuse.
He told Hlady that he and two other men shocked the cat with an extension cord.
Bongers told investigators he put the cat in the microwave more than once and turned it on and told the other two men at the party to say the cat got outside and froze, the complaint states, when it was killed.
According to the complaint, a resident of the house spoke to Sgt. Troy Dunn of the Rice County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 23.
The resident said he lives in a home in Warsaw Township with four other people, according to the complaint. He went to bed the night of the party and learned in the morning that a gray, short-haired cat named Keke had been tortured and killed.
According to the complaint, he found the 6-month-old cat outside with burnt hair.
Another resident found a microwave, usually stored in a spare bedroom, in the basement the morning after the party.
Hlady took the microwave as evidence, as well as a cord that had been used to pull Keke around the room and an electrical cord which had been used to shock the cat, according to the complaint.
The owner of the cat said he thought Keke was lost when he could not find her, but his girlfriend told him Bongers had killed the cat, according to the complaint.
A partygoer who witnessed the abuse told Hlady on Jan. 31 that Bongers tied a string around the cat's neck and swung it around and shocked the cat with an extension cord. Later, he went upstairs to get the microwave and put Keke in. Bongers threw the cat in the backyard after he saw that it was dead, the complaint states.
Rice County Sheriff Richard Cook said the investigation is ongoing and other people from the party still need to be interviewed.
"The most disturbing thing to me is if it was going on, why didn't somebody stop it?" he said.
Bongers was released on his own recognizance Friday. His next court appearance is Feb. 14.
To inform the Rice County Sheriff's department of possible crimes, contact the department on its tip line at 1-866-968-8477.
- PETA Media Center - Feb 13, 2007
- Faribault Daily News - Feb 9, 2007
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