Fri, Oct 03, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Man charged with cat abuse says he should not be jailed

NY Times News Service, NEW YORK

The Brooklyn man who has been charged with kicking a cat — the episode captured in a video that went viral — said on Wednesday that he did not believe he should go to jail if found guilty.

The man, Andre Robinson, 22, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, although he has admitted to the police that he did kick the cat at the Brevoort Houses in Brooklyn. Animal-rights activists have attended his court appearances, surrounding him and demanding a jail sentence.

As Robinson returned to Criminal Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, there were no activists to greet him. The one activist who had been there left when it was announced that Robinson’s trial, which was to begin on Wednesday, was postponed until Oct. 23.

Robinson’s lawyer, William Hair, said that he had the case postponed because “I’m sick of all you media.”

However, he did not tell Robinson, whose case has drawn wide attention and diverse opinions about what type of punishment might fit the alleged crime.

Robinson said that he had not seen any of the dialogue on various Web sites, including the New York Times, which has published more than 1,600 comments on the issue since Monday.

Outside the courtroom, Robinson weighed in.

“This is my first offense, so I really don’t think I should be put through this,” he said, adding: “I have had previous pets.”

In the courthouse elevator on his way out, Robinson, using his cellphone, pulled up a video of his dog, Dollar, a Shih Tzu; the video showed the dog wiping his face on Robinson’s bed after eating.

He added that he used to own a cat that “looked like Garfield,” as well as a bearded dragon, which he said he gave away.

The cat-kicking episode may be his first animal cruelty charge, but Robinson has a criminal record that includes several arrests. Of those, police officials would confirm only two: a robbery at knife point and jumping a turnstile, both in 2011.

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