The Akron, Ohio cat kicker who was identified after a video of the act posted to Facebook got the attention of animal lovers pleaded guilty in an Akron Municipal Court hearing today and made some telling comments about the case.
Tre’vonte Mitchell was seen on the video posted by Roy Hill to Facebook earlier this month kicking a cat and then turning to the person shooting the video, laughing. A woman tipped off the animal advocates behind the Ohio Animal Abuser List Facebook page, who contacted the police and shared the video at their page on August 6, rallying animal lovers and asking for help in getting the kicker identified and charged. It was not difficult to find the kicker, since he was tagged in Roy Hill’s original Facebook post under a nickname. Local news outlets Newsnet 5 and WKYC both covered the case and helped to bring public awareness of the incident.
This Wednesday, Akron police arrested and charged Tre’vonte Mitchell with animal cruelty misdemeanor of the first degree, which carries a penalty of up to a $1000 fine and/or six months in jail. Investigators say Mitchell was cooperative when interviewed and expressed remorse. Police Capt Daniel D. Zampelli said that because Mitchell had a clean record and expressed remorse he was unlikely to get the full sentence allowed.
Mitchell pleaded guilty today but will be sentenced at a later date. The judge ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on developments in the story today, along with both Newsnet5 and WKYC, which provided updates on the case.
The Plain Dealer printed several quotes from Mitchell, but we’re not sure whether the statements were made to the judge or a reporter for the Plain dealer.
Mitchell said: “I’m sorry because my face is everywhere and because I’m here [in court],” and “I don’t like cats now.”
“They [those sharing the video online and the news media] got me everywhere — here, New York,” Mitchell said. “People called me a cat killer. I’m not bragging about it. The situation got blown out of proportion.”
When asked what he might have done differently, Mitchell said: “I wouldn’t have posted it.”
Mitchell, also said he and Hill have been the targets of racially charged death threats and insults over the incident. Race also played a role in comments left at the police department’s statement on the case earlier this week, with some commenters saying Mitchell was being targeted because of his race and downplaying his behavior. Once commenter added: “Nobody cares about a cat.”
See more in our post from August 14, Ohio Cat Kicker Arrested.