A bench warrant was issued for Irishman Declan Garrity on Tuesday after he failed to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court to face charges of animal cruelty.
It is believed Garrity failed to appear in court as he had returned to Ireland after receiving notification his visa had expired.
Following a brief talk with lawyers on the case, Justice James Burke issued a bench warrant (a type of arrest warrant) and revoked Garrity’s bail.
Originally from Omagh in Co. Tyrone, 24-year old Declan Garrity was arrested on February 24, 2016, and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals as well as torturing and injuring animals.
The arrest came after his roommate, Danielle, discovered her pet cat has received multiple unusual injuries. The Tyrone man stands accused of ripping out the cat Lucy's nails, breaking bones in her face, pelvis and legs and burning the animal.
Danielle posted a roommate ad on the listing site Craigslist, and the Tyrone man moved into the shared apartment on the Upper East Side in November 2015. Danielle’s cat Lucy had sustained these injuries in the months following his arrival in the apartment.
Garrity had been working in the US on a visa as a financial analyst with Barclays but has since lost his job. It is reported that it was in fact Barclays who paid for his flight home to Northern Ireland as part of a settlement package.
Fired from his position on March 4, the NY Daily News report that Garrity was warned he had a month to leave the US.
According to the Daily News, a letter sent from Barclays HR informed Garrity: “It is your obligation to comply with the immigration regulations by either departing the U.S. or applying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a change in status to another nonimmigrant visa category as soon as possible.”
Assistant District Attorney Erin Satterthwaite, however, has stated that the same immigration rules would not have applied to Garrity for as long as he was facing a criminal investigation and there was no need for him to leave the country.
"When there is a criminal case pending, there are different procedures," she said.
"This is absolutely a willful and voluntary absence."
Garrity's defense lawyer Telesforo Del Valle Jr has argued that Garrity was advised by an immigration lawyer to depart so as to avoid living in the country illegally.
Following an incident in early March in which the Irishman was rearrested for returning to the apartment to collect his belongings without the required police escort, Del Valle claims Garrity did not wish to be in violation of any further law and felt obliged to return to Ireland.
“He doesn't want to be in violation of the law because of what happened the last time,” Del Valle said.
“He didn't want to be in a federal prison.”