BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Bloomington police arrested a man Monday after he admitted to stealing a cat from an animal shelter and tying a cord around its neck.
Christopher Charles Gugliuzza, 19, told police he slapped, threw and tied a cord around the neck of the cat, the Bloomington Herald Times reported.
Police first arrested Gugliuzza on a preliminary charge of theft after the animal shelter reported the cat stolen.
Staff members told police they had given the cat to a man to hold, because he'd expressed an interest in adopting the cat, according to Bloomington police Sgt. John Kovach.
Staff members said while they were helping other customers, the man fled the shelter, got in his car and left.
Shelter staff said they recognized the man as Gugliuzza, because he had adopted from the shelter twice before, and they gave police his address, Kovach said.
Gugliuzza admitted to police that he stole the cat because he had no money, and he told officers that the cat ran away and he didn’t know where it went.
As Gugliuzza was being released from the jail for the theft-related arrest, Bloomington police took him in custody for a second time on preliminary charges of animal cruelty.
Police arrested Gugliuzza after his girlfriend reported he might have killed the cat he stole and detailed his history of killing and abusing other cats.
The woman told police she saw Gugliuzza throw the stolen cat against the wall of his residence five times, choke the cat with his hands, tie a computer power cord around the cat’s neck and drag the cat around the apartment. She said he also put a 20-pound weight on the cat's paw in an attempt to break it, police said.
She reported he then dragged the cat to a nearby wooded area and threw the cat into trees. The woman said that as she yelled at him to stop, the cat cried out in pain, Kovach said.
She told police she saw Gugliuzza pick up a large rock and throw it at the cat, causing the cat to go limp and stop crying. She told police she wasn’t sure if the cat died, and police could not find the cat during a search Monday night, Kovach said.
His girlfriend said Monday's incident wasn't the first time Gugliuzza killed or abused cats, according to Kovach.
She reported that about two months ago, Gugliuzza told her that a cat, named Misty, scratched him and he choked it to death. The woman told police she did not witness the death but helped him bury the cat.
Police found the remains of a cat believed to be Misty that the woman said she and Gugliuzza buried along 17th Street, Kovach said.
The woman also told police that two days after the incident with Misty, Gugliuzza got another cat named Rosie.
She told police she noticed Rosie had injuries to its paw and face. This cat died, but she didn't know how.
The woman also told police that a few days ago, Gugliuzza had a cat named Peaches, who had an injury to its leg.
She said Gugliuzza told her the cat injured its leg jumping off a counter and that he returned from a visit to a veterinarian, who said the cat had to be put to sleep.
In a second interview with police, Gugliuzza admitted to slapping the stolen cat and tying the computer cord around the cat's neck, but said he did not tie the cord tight.
He also admitted to throwing the cat into a tree, but said he believed the cat did not die, Kovach said.
Gugliuzza admitted to police he strangled and killed Misty and buried that cat in a wooded area.
He told police the cat Rosie died in its sleep after falling down the stairs, and he said Peaches hurt its ankle after jumping off a counter, but ran away.
Gugliuzza was released from the Monroe County Jail Tuesday morning after posting $905 bond.
Gugliuzza's three roommates said they met Gugliuzza on Craig's List, but now that they know more about him, they don't want anything more to do with him.
Roommate Aaron McGuin said the news came as a shock.
"He never sat down with us, he just went straight to his room," McGuin said. "(He's) just really cordial. It was just an unexpected thing. We had no idea until last night until we had cops at our door step."
McGuin said he now thinks the injuries and deaths of three other cats are related.
"My cat, his name was is Einstein, he had a broken leg and his face was like, it was just bleeding and stuff," McGuin said. "It's been mind boggling to me to understand what happened to my cat and understanding like how badly he was hurt, like how did that happen by himself. I couldn't get it through my head, but now I have clarity, what actually happened. I understand he was abused."