Judge tosses top charge against Brooklyn Cat Kicker but the case proceeds

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Andre Robinson, in a still image from the video that landed him in court for animal cruelty.


The most serious charge against the Brooklyn Cat Kicker was dismissed Thursday, but another charge was added and the case will go forward, with the next hearing scheduled for January 20.

Andre Robinson’s lawyer appeared  in Brooklyn Criminal Court court yesterday for a hearing in the animal cruelty case that was prompted by a video posted to Facebook in May, 2014 that showed Robinson forcefully kicking a cat named King, a friendly stray known and fed by residents at the Brevoort Houses public housing complex in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

On the short video clip, Robinson lures the friendly cat over to him then gives him a forceful kick that sends him flying several feet and into some bushes. Robinson and some friends or bystanders are heard laughing at the way the trusting cat is tricked and brutalized.

Robinson was arrested after being identified as the abuser on the video. After spending a night in jail, Robinson, who has eight prior arrests, was released on no bond after being charged with aggravated animal cruelty, and he returned to his mother’s home. His mother has stood by him and accompanied him to his court appearances connected with the case.

Animal advocates banded together from the time the video was first posted online, using the still-active Justice for King Facebook page to update those interested in seeing Robinson prosecuted. Advocates have made their presence known by attending Robinson’s court hearings, including the one held yesterday.

The Daily News and the New York Times reported Thursday on the developments in the case, most notably the dismissal of the torture and injury charge by Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson.

Stephanie Clifford clarified the matter in her report for the New York Times, writing:

“However, the crime Mr. Robinson was charged with, torturing and injuring an animal, requires prosecutors to offer evidence of the victim’s injuries, Acting Justice ShawnDya L. Simpson ruled in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors had not done that, she said, so she dismissed the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

“Mr. Robinson is not yet in the clear: Prosecutors added a charge on Thursday of attempted animal torture and injury, which carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail. The judge also said prosecutors could return with evidence proving that the cat was injured, which could restore the more serious charge.”

At the January 20 hearing, Robinson might face trial on the lesser charge, or prosecutors could file papers detailing the more serious charge and seek to have it reinstated.

The original charge for causing injury to an animal was a class A misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in prison. The lesser charge is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum jail term of 90 days.

Following the abuse incident, King was captured after a several hours long search by NYPD officers and a team from North Shore Animal League. He was taken to an ASPCA animal hospital, where he was evaluated by vet staff and treated for “tissue injuries and bruising.” He recovered from his injuries and has been adopted.

Prosecutors argued the distance King traveled after being kicked was sufficient to establish pain and suffering but the judge ruled that it was not enough to support the more serious charge.

“Maybe it was injured, or maybe it’s fine,” the Daily News quoted Judge Simpson saying. “If you’re going for the full assault, it’s not here.”

“The only thing I can see to cure it is if you have a doctor’s report.”

Robinson did not appear at Thursday’s hearing. His lawyer unsuccessfully argued for a dismissal of the entire case.

See our earlier posts: Justice for King and Kicked Brooklyn Cat is Adopted.

Justice for King wrote at Facebook today, saying: “Given yesterday’s outcome, we’d like to ask for everyone’s usual outstanding support for another communications push in requesting the absolute max at this stage. Yes, there’s going to be a trial this month for a different charge, which could result in jail time for a shorter length of time.” The post includes contact information for those interested in writing to the court, as well as a reminder to advocates to remain calm and polite in their communications.






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