MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Miami Beach Police arrested a hotel clerk they say shot an arrow at the head of a stray cat.
Wednesday morning police said they arrested and charged Georgios Lollias, 36, with Animal Cruelty and Tampering with Evidence.
Strushie was a well-known cat around the Franklin Hotel in South beach.
He was born in the alley, and fed by the previous hotel owner.
In April he was found dying with an arrow in his head.
“This is a horrific case of animal abuse,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer. “He shot this cat with a cross bow, allegedly, shot this cat with a cross bow twice in the head and the cat died and before the cat died, it suffered.”
With a look of disgust on her face, Judge Glazer read the charges against Lollias, the hotel employee charged in the case.
“Post Miranda, the defendant admitted shooting Strushie the cat twice with the crossbow,” Glazer said.
Police say the cat survived the initial two shots with arrows but had to be put down to stop its suffering.
Angelo Lanza feeds stray cats in South Beach. He’s stunned by what happened to Strushie.
“He was always in the hotel,” Lanza said. “People would take pictures with him. He was a gentle cat. I can’t even understand why someone would do something like that.”
Investigators said they were lead to Lollias by hotel surveillance video. They tell us that video was nearly destroyed, leading to a tampering with evidence charge.
“When the evidence was retrieved, there are indicators to us that it was actually deleted, our forensic teams was able to retrieve that, which is how we were able to identify the subject,” said Ernesto Rodriguez with Miami Beach Police.
The previous hotel owner hired a private detective to look into the case. He does not want to be identified. He, along with police, are continuing to investigate
“We going to dig further and further put pressure and we’re not going to let it go,” the private investigator told CBS4.
The idea of a cat being killed after being shot by arrows has many in the area stunned.
“That is terrible. We’re south Florida. There’s cats everywhere. We take care of them. We take care of our cats here,” said Aaron Pope, who lives nearby.
Authorities say other arrests may be possible in the future.
“It is a great relief that we have found some level of justice for Strushie,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates. “This was a horrific act of animal cruelty. I congratulate our detectives on this arrest and the U.S. Secret Service for the critical assistance they provided to us.”