Noah A. Riley, 19, of Crawfordsville, was arrested shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.
“Mr. Riley, after seeing the discussion on social media about his actions, started 'feeling guilty' and turned himself in to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office,” Chief Deputy Ryan Needham said. “Road Officer Jared Kirby interviewed Riley who admitted to setting a cat on fire Wednesday night on C.R. 500S.
More likely he knew someone would turn him in and his mommy and daddy got him a lawyer who said turn yourself in and then try to get a plea deal that says you knew you were wrong, you're sorry and you 'did the right thing' by turning yourself in.
Riley was booked into the Montgomery County Jail at 8:06 p.m. He is being charged with cruelty to an animal, a Class 6 felony and abandoning and neglecting an animal, an A misdemeanor. He is being held on $1,000 cash bond.
The arrest stems from an incident that occurred Wednesday night. When Steve Wright of New Market heard a vehicle stopped out in front of his home on C.R. 500 S., he thought the driver might be having mechanical issues.
What he saw when he looked out the window was a flame of fire shooting about six feet into the air and heard a cat screeching in pain.
The vehicle sped away leaving a female cat who had been doused with gasoline and set on fire, with all four feet bound with a rope.
The person who left in the vehicle had attached an M-80 explosive to the rope as if he wanted it to explode to further hurt the cat.
Wright immediately called 9-1-1. The dispatcher then notified the Montgomery County Welfare League of a potential animal abuse case at approximately 10 p.m.
AWL employee Misha Anderson responded to the call. She found the cat in shock and took it back to the shelter. Not knowing if the cat would succumb to its injuries, she decided to wait to see if the feline could make it through the night.
“I was heart broken and I told her if she could hang on through the night, I would take her to Purdue in the morning,” Anderson said.
Early Thursday morning, Anderson found the cat alive. In fact, the cat was walking and attentive but in a lot of pain. So, Anderson placed her in a cage and sped to the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital.
“I think the cat’s wet fur actually prevented her from having her whole body burnt badly,” Anderson said. “Where she had little hair, like around her eyes and ears, she had bad burns.”
Veterinarians kept the cat all day Thursday for lung x-rays and further evaluation.
AWL is committed to help the cat to full recover if Purdue veterinarians believe the cat has a chance to live. They are now seeking donations to help with the expected large expenses.
“If anyone wants to donate to the medical expenses we will apply all we receive to the case,” Anderson said.
(Journal Review - Jan 13, 2017)