Local man arrested for allegedly killing kitten

Local man arrested for allegedly killing kitten

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Police have arrested a local man they say killed a kitten and placed it in a trash bag before throwing it in a dumpster. Matthew Johnson, of Smithfield, faces two counts of malicious injury to or killing of animals.

On Sept. 24, at around 5:40 p.m., members of the North Providence Police Department were sent to 1014 Charles St. in response to a woman who had found a dead kitten.
Officers arrived and spoke with the woman, who said she’d discovered the kitten inside a dumpster on the property. The woman was the owner of the kitten.

As the investigation advanced, the woman said she suspected that her daughter’s boyfriend, Johnson, may have injured the kitten. She explained to police that Johnson admitted to her that he had kicked one of her other cats. This cat suffered an injury and was found to be limping. That incident occurred about one week earlier.

The woman also mentioned that Johnson was alone with the kitten in her home when she left for work on Sept. 24. When she returned home at around 4:30 p.m., she could not find the kitten. She said she had asked Johnson about the whereabouts of the cat and he said he last saw it before he took the trash out.

The woman was suspicious of the comment, and she was concerned about the welfare of the kitten based the information that he had kicked another one of her pets. She then checked the trash and found the dead kitten, states a news release.

Det. Christopher Cote, Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Agent Earl Newman, and Animal Control Officer Ernest Calandra investigated the case. The investigators questioned the pet owner and other witnesses and were able to obtain sufficient probable cause to apply for an arrest warrant for Johnson, age 27, of 490 Douglas Pike in Smithfield. The warrant was approved on Sept. 27. He was taken into custody with the help of the Smithfield Police Department. During questioning, Johnson suggested that the kitten suffered the injuries at the hands of a 1-year-old child.

Johnson was arraigned before a bail commissioner on Sept. 27. He was charged with two counts of malicious injury to or killing of animals. Bail was set at $2,500 with surety.