Group Turns Evidence Over to Authorities, Resulting in Arrest
For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Orangeburg, S.C. — Today, PETA sent an urgent plea to First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe calling on him to prosecute Walter Easley, 17, of Cordova, S.C., vigorously. Easley allegedly recorded himself violently kicking the family’s kitten, Boots, from his porch onto the yard and posted the video on July 28 to the video-sharing site Vine. Easley was arrested based on evidence that PETA collected and turned over to Orangeburg County Animal Control, which quickly acted to remove Boots and four dogs from the home for their safety.
“The callousness shown in viciously kicking a kitten and boasting of it online must not go unpunished,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “The community has reason to be concerned. According to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals, including humans.”
PETA is asking that Easley, if convicted, be prohibited from owning or harboring animals and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling.
PETA’s letter to First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe follows.
August 22, 2012
The Honorable David M. Pascoe
First Circuit Solicitor’s Office
1437 Amelia St.
Orangeburg, SC 29115
Dear Mr. Pascoe:
PETA is an international animal protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters globally. This letter concerns a case that your office is handling involving Walter Easley, 17, of Cordova, who is accused of committing an act of cruelty to animals that was filmed by the perpetrator and posted to the Web, where it went viral. The video depicts a young man violently kicking a kitten off the porch of his home. The tiny animal, who appears to have approached his abuser in the hope of receiving affection, cartwheels wildly through the air and crashes to the ground. PETA provided Orangeburg County Animal Control with this evidence, and the agency acted quickly, confiscating the kitten and several dogs for their own protection and filing charges against Easley. The kitten, named Boots by shelter staff, survived the incident and is now safely in county custody.
As you likely know, mental health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider animal abuse to be a red flag. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. The link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is undeniable, and the safety of the community may depend upon a vigorous prosecution of this case. Please see the attached for more information.
On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in South Carolina, we respectfully ask that, if convicted, Easley be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his family’s expense. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we ask that, if convicted, Easley be prohibited from owning animals (a common provision in such cases) for as long as possible.
Thank you for your time and consideration and for the difficult work that you do.
Senior Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department