NEW PHILADELPHIA — A May 22 trial is scheduled for an 18-year-old man accused of burning a baby opossum, or joey, with a butane torch.
Police Chief Michael Goodwin charged the suspect with cruelty to animals after investigating a tip he received while off-duty on Thursday.
"They had sent me a video that was on Facebook live showing (two) males videotaping several baby opossums," Goodwin said in a prepared statement. "The video seems to show that they had no idea what kind of animals these were.
"They then videoed themselves torturing one of the animals by using a butane torch. I immediately contacted my office and forwarded the information that I had, so that we could find out who these guys were."
Contact was made with both subjects, and a confession was obtained, according to the chief.
The 18-year-old resident of the 200 block of Front Avenue SW was charged with cruelty to animals. A 21-year-old man who lives in the 200 block of Fourth Street SW was charged with complicity.
The 18-year-old is scheduled for a bench trial in New Philadelphia Municipal Court, where he has pleaded not guilty. He is currently being held on a $125,000.00 bond. The 21-year-old is due in court Thursday.
"I do not know if the animal survived this act," Goodwin said. "These kind of actions cannot go unanswered."
Nancy Molnar is a staff writer for The Times-Reporter.