An Irishman living in New York's Upper East Side was arrested for torturing his roommate’s cat for three months.
Declan Garrity (24), from Omagh, County Tyrone, was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with felony animal cruelty.
Lucy, the cat Garrity alleged abused, underwent a number of surgeries yesterday, the New York Daily News reports. The police stated that the cat had fractured hind legs and bruises on her back. Another source told the New York newspaper that bones in Lucy’s face were broken, as was her pelvis. Her nails were ripped out and she was burnt.
The roommate, Danielle, who Garrity met via Craigslist, told DNAinfo that she came home from her an overnight shift at her nursing job on Saturday to find her cat hiding in its carrier, one of its paws twisted in the wrond direction and missing fur, according to the complaint filed. She also found paper towels matten with cat fur and blood in the bathroom.
She then took the cat to the vet, who revealed the full extent of its injuries. She said that she send Garrity a text message asking if he had seen anything unusual and that the truth only dawned on her when he never responded.
"I didn’t see it, until I saw the whole picture," she said. “My head doesn’t go to someone ripping my cat’s nails out. No one suspected it until now. It’s nauseating.”
The official complaint states that the cat's behavior changed drastically after Garrity moved in to the apartment in November 2015 - she began hiding in her owner's closet, refusing to eat, and frequently licking her paws.
Danielle had returned home to find her cat unwell on four previous occasions, most recently in January, when Garrity told her an iron had fallen on the cat. She had taken Lucy to the vet a number of times since Garrity moved in, thinking it had an undiagnosed medical condition.
She said that there was nothing about Garrity that would have raised her suspicions. "I met him a couple of times, called his references and Googled him, but he had no record,” she said. “He was a really great roommate and told me he had grown up with a cat and his parents had a dog.”
She said that she hopes Garrity gets "the punishment he deserves and is convicted rightfully. I never want to see him again.”
A GoFundMe page has been established to help cover the costs of Lucy the cat's surgeries. All un-used doantions will go to the ASPCA.
Garrity was arrested at their apartment on Wednesday morning. He was arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court early Thursday and is being held on $5,000 bail until his hearing on February 29.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Garrity joined Barclays in New York as a financial analyst in October 2014. His profile also shows that he studied Science at Queens University Belfast and then at the Hult International Business School, in Boston. In his youth he attended the Christian Brothers Grammar School, Omagh. The Daily News reports that Garrity has a working visa.
On Thursday prosecutors told the court that Garrity’s employment with Barclays has been terminated, however his defense attorney maintained that he was still employed. A spokesman for Barclays later said that Garrity is on a leave of absence pending review, but did not confirm whether it was related to his arrest.
Garrity’s various social media pages show him with groups of friends and traveling, visiting the sights in the US. While there are several posts of Garrity on his Instagram page with a small dog, the cat is not featured.