Media Release: Arraignment For Moss Point Snapchat Cat Torture Trio
TOMORROW: Arraignment for Mississippi Cat Scalding Trio Following In Defense of Animals $2,500 Reward Offer
TOMORROW: ARRAIGNMENT FOR MOSS POINT SNAPCHAT CAT TORTURE TRIO
Moss Point, MS (February 6, 2017) – In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization that runs the Winona, Mississippi-based Justice for Animals Campaign posted a $2,500 reward that led to the arrest of fugitive felon Laderrick Oneal Rostchild, who had eluded the Moss Point, Mississippi Police Department since he learned he was to be arrested for “aggravated cruelty” to the cat. The Moss Point Police Department received the tip they needed within minutes of news of the reward being aired.
Tomorrow, Tuesday February 7, 2017, Laderrick, his uncle, Larry Rostchild, and his girlfriend Karmen Coleman will enter their pleas. The Rostchilds are charged with aggravated animal cruelty, and Coleman with aiding in the crime. On or about December 13, 2016, Coleman videoed the Rostchilds dousing a trapped cat with two pots of boiling water. The trio mocked the cat as he cried out and struggled to escape, while steam rose from his scalded body. Coleman then posted the video of the vile act on Snapchat. An animal advocate spotted the post and notified the Moss Point Police Department of the crime. An investigation into the crime led to the identity of the trio and the discovery of the cat lying dead in the fetal position.
Laderrick Oneal Rostchild has a criminal history of fraud, theft, domestic violence, resisting arrest, and contempt of court. He was still on parole at the time of the diabolical crime, and was not granted bail.
Despite the gruesome nature of the crime, aggravated cruelty to a cat is only a first offense misdemeanor in the State of Mississippi, carrying a maximum fine of just $2,500 and, or six months in jail. The charge leveled against Karmen Coleman, of rendering criminal assistance during the act, carries a maximum fine of just $1,000 and, or up to a year in jail.
“This gruesome case is a classic example of how animal abusers are a threat to the entire community, who must be judged seriously and rehabilitated completely,” said Doll Stanley, who spearheads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign. “The horrendous torture and killing of this cat has galvanized the whole community to see that justice be served for a cat they never met, but took action for. This is the vigor in which animal advocates of Mississippi need to pursue a 1st offense felony charge for aggravated cruelty to a cat or a dog.”
Tomorrow, Tuesday February 7th, Director Stanley will meet with Moss Point Commander Stacey Deans to hand him a letter signed by over 13,000 animal advocates encouraging the capture of Laderrick Oneal Rostchild and the firm prosecution of the trio. The letter runs over 330 pages listing concerned people from across Mississippi and around the world who are watching the outcome of this case, and calling for justice to be served.
“We commend Commander Deans and his department in their handling of this case. The Moss Point Police have taken this case seriously and been forthcoming with information as the case has progressed. We were promptly informed of Laderrick Oneal Rostchild’s capture following our reward offer. This is the first egregious act of violence to an animal that Commander Deans has had to respond to, and we are glad to offer further training,” said Director Stanley, who has a twenty year history of dealing with cruelty cases in the Deep South.
Despite the clear link between violence to animals and violence to humans, few law enforcement agencies have received training on the investigation of animal neglect and violence, the handling of animals, and applicable laws and procedures. Fewer still have the facilities, equipment, and resources required to remove imperiled animals..
“Citizens of Mississippi want equal protection under the law for animal species they chose to work or live with. Mississippians are making it clear that they have zero tolerance for animal cruelty and legislators had better catch on.It is a travesty of justice that the heinous crime of scalding this helpless, trapped cat is still a mere misdemeanor,” said Justice for Animals Director Stanley.
Last week, a great injustice was done to Mississippians as the Mississippi Senate and House Agriculture Committees, in stride with Farm Bureau, again snuffed Mississippi Senator Angela Hill’s proposed amendment to MSSS 97-41-16, the 2011 “Dog & Cat” law that, if passed, would make a first offense crime of aggravated cruelty to a dog or a cat a felony. Mississippi companion animals still have a chance of protection courtesy of Representative Greg Snowden, who has introduced HB575 to update Mississippi’s cat and dog protection law.
Farm Bureau’s attack on the dog and cat protection law is based on misguided fears that stronger laws for domestic animals would be a “slippery slope” to stronger animal protection laws for farming and ranching. The fact is that farmed animals are already protected under MSSS 97-41-15, and it is a felony to maliciously or wantonly harm “livestock”.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign has aligned with coalitions, organizations, officials, and citizens across the state to work towards the passage of this bill in 2018 and to see municipal and county ordinances amended or passed to reflect the stiffest penalties of state law.
For more information, please visit www.idausa.org
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In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign is actively working with officials in communities, building a groundswell of support for establishing and amending city and county ordinances as part of its campaign to show state lawmakers that Mississippians will not tolerate animal cruelty.
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 30-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048