An Irishman in New York accused of torturing his roommate's cat was rearrested on Tuesday evening for violating a court order.
Returning to his apartment on the Upper East Side, Tyrone man Declan Garrity, 24, broke a court order that refused him access to the apartment he shared with his former housemate, Danielle, and her pet cat, Lucy. Police officials confirmed he was rearrested as a result on March 1.
Originally arrested on February 24, 2016, the financial analyst with Barclays is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals as well as torturing and injuring animals after his roommate, Danielle, discovered her pet cat has received multiple unusual injuries.
The analyst from Omagh in Co. Tyrone, currently in the US on a work visa, stands accused of ripping out the cat Lucy's nails, breaking bones in her face, pelvis and legs and burning the animal.
After Danielle found Garrity, who was previously unknown to her, on popular site Craigslist, Lucy is believed to have suffered these injuries since the Tyrone man moved into the shared apartment in November 2015.
Garrity was released on a $5,000 bond on Monday but prohibited from returning to his Second Avenue apartment where the alleged animal abuse took place. Judge Joanne Watters, however, permitted the analyst, who has been placed on leave by his employer’s Barclays, to return to his former home to collect his belongs between 1 and 3pm on Tuesday, March 1, accompanied by a police escort.
When Garrity arrived at the Upper East Side apartment, however, he was alone apart from movers he had hired to carry his possessions.
Attempting to enter the building, Garrity was asked via the intercom whether he was accompanied by police.
His former roommate's father had been waiting at the residence to oversee Garrity’s visit and on learning that a police escort was not present, it is believed he called Danielle, who in turn called the police to report the court order violation.
Within half an hour, a squad car arrived and DNAinfo.com report that the Irishman was once again placed in handcuffs and escorted from the building at 2.45pm.
He is believed to have been charged with criminal contempt in the first degree.
"The defendant came to the apartment without a police escort and still attempted to gain access to the apartment, in direct contradiction to the order of protection and order of the judge," said the criminal complaint.
According to New York Daily News, however, Garrity’s lawyer Telesforo Del Valle Jr claims that the violation was a misunderstanding and that when his client attempted to bring a police escort with him he was told, "We don't do that anymore."
"The movers said we're charging you anyway and he needs his belongings," Del Valle said. "This man has never been arrested before in his life. He doesn't know the process."
During his court appearance on Monday, the alleged cat torturer was accused of continued abuse of his roommate's cat over three months, including an incident on January 25 in which Garrity claimed an iron fell on the animal’s back while he was at work.
Filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the original criminal complaint reads: "shortly after [Garrity] moved into the apartment, the individual observed Lucy's behaviour change, including hiding in the individual's bedroom closet, not eating and constantly licking her paws."
Following a further incident at the end of February in which Danielle returned to the apartment to find Lucy "hiding in her career [with] her rear foot facing in the wrong direction," and after discovering "cat hair and blood" on paper towels in Garrity’s room, she began to suspect that the Irishman could be responsible for the cat’s injuries.
Since Garrity’s court appearance, a group of individuals convinced of his guilt began an online petition to deport the 24-year-old back to Northern Ireland.
The petition asks that if found guilty of his alleged crime, his employment with Barclay’s be terminated and that he is immediately deported.
“We need to send a message to him, his employer, and the U.S. Department of Immigration that his actions will not be tolerated,” the petition reads.
“The U.S.A. does not condone animal cruelty, nor should his employer, Barclays Bank. We urge you to sign this petition demanding the termination of his employment and deportation from the United States of America.”