ISLAMORADA, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of throwing two kittens out of the window of his SUV as he drove in the Florida Keys last month, authorities said.
Diego Torres Ruiz, 29, of Islamorada, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of animal cruelty, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s office, Ruiz was driving a Hyundai Santa Fe northbound on U.S. 1 in Islamorada on Nov. 28, when witnesses said they saw two kittens being thrown from the vehicle, WSVN-TV reported.
Vehicles swerved to avoid the kittens, and a witness was able to write down the license number of the vehicle, according to WPLG-TV.
The suspect, later identified as Ruiz, was stopped several minutes later, according to the sheriff’s office. He denied knowing anything about the kittens.
When deputies could not find the felines, Ruiz was released, WSVN reported.
Later in the day, one kitten was found dead by deputies after apparently being struck by a vehicle, the sheriff’s office said. A second kitten ran into the woods but was later found by an employee of Rain Barrel Village, a resort area containing several shops in Islamorada.
The kitten was taken to Whiskers & Paws in Key Largo with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to the sheriff’s office.
The witness who saw the incident adopted the surviving kitten and identified Ruiz as the driver of the SUV, WPLG reported.
The sheriff’s office notified the State Attorney’s Office and warrants were obtained for Ruiz’s arrest.
“I take these incidents very seriously and I’m happy to report an arrest was made in this case,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement.
Ruiz will be arraigned on Jan. 3, WLPG reported.
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