A 21-year-old man from Georgina is charged with cruelty to animals.
On Monday (Jan. 8), York Regional Police say they received multiple reports from concerned citizens stating they had seen a video posted online of a man hitting a cat.
Police say the suspect in the video was identified and investigators attended his residence along with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA). The Ontario SPCA will be continuing the investigation into the identity and well being of the animal involved.
The man, whose name has not been released, was charged with cruelty to animals and two counts of breach of probation.
After concerns were raised regarding the decision not to release the name of the accused, Constable Laura Nicolle of YRP offered the following explanation:
“I understand your concerns in regards to the identity of the accused. I want to explain that we do not release names in cases where we have given additional details on the case or additional evidence is out in the public to protect the integrity of the court process. In this case we received many many messages about this video and we wanted to reassure our community that we had been investigating and the person was charged.”
Const. Nicolle says police cannot release as much evidence if they also provide the name of the accused.
“This is the same practice for many impaired cases, the details of the driving behavior is so severe that the public deserves to know what we had dealt with so we share more information in most cases but then not the name,” she wrote in an email to The Brock Voice.
“The charges we have laid here are very serious offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario SPCA are also continuing to investigate. I understand your feelings but want to assure you that this is being taken very seriously and we want the best possible case in court, that is why the name is not out.”
The accused will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Feb. 6.
Anyone with information is asked to call the York Regional Police #3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, extension 7341, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.