CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A police report detailing a number of shocking internet searches, including “ways to torture a cat,” was released following the arraignment of a man who is facing numerous animal cruelty charges in connection with a series of brutal attacks on cats in Cambridge earlier this year.
Rashad Gober, 31, of Cambridge was arrested without incident at his home on Thursday and arraigned in Cambridge District Court on four counts of animal cruelty.
On Thursday, May 6, a Cambridge animal control officer responded to a call about an animal crying underneath a car and found that a cat, whose hind legs were bound with masking tape, had already died, according to a statement issued by the Cambridge Police Department, the City of Cambridge Animal Commission and the MSPCA Law Enforcement Division.
A necropsy showed that a large percentage of “Gosha’s” fur was missing, and the cat suffered multiple BB gunshot wounds across its face and body. During an investigation into the May 6 animal cruelty case, two additional, past cat cruelty cases in East Cambridge were brought to the attention of the Cambridge Police Department, Animal Commission and the MSPCA.
A BB gun was used to injure “Tammy” on March 3 or 4 in East Cambridge; fortunately, the cat was able to recover from its injuries. At some point between May 2-5, another East Cambridge cat — “Buddy” – suffered chemical burns, but was also able to recover from their injuries.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Gober claimed to find Buddy in his back yard and brought it into his apartment for medical attention. Gober had allegedly notified the owner through a neighborhood social networking app that he found the cat and returned Buddy to her.
After investigating tips submitted from the community and gaining further information during their investigation, the Cambridge Police and the MSPCA recovered key evidence in these cases from Gober’s apartment, vehicle, and phone.
Gober was found to be in possession of a BB gun and pellets, and investigators noted that they also located a trail of cat food leading to his home, glue traps, bloodstained towels, open bags of cat food, and clumps of fur on his property, court documents indicated.
Gober’s Google history on his iPhone reportedly showed a slew of startling search inquiries about torturing cats:
- Ways to torture a cat without killing it
- Will Clorox burn a cat
- Will ammonia knock a cat out
- Keeping a cat hostage
- What if someone tortures an animal once
- How to load an Airsoft cartridge
- BB guns in Mass.
- What happens if you throw bleach on a cat
- Sounds to lure cats
- What are sounds that only cats can hear
- How to lure neighborhood cats
- Where can I buy cat nip
- I stole a stray cat
- I hate cats and caught one
- How to force feed a cat
- Cat chemical burn
- Blowing weed smoke in a cat’s face
- Ways to torture cat
- Hurt cat without killing it
- Cat cruelty video clips
- Get rid of BB gun
- Desire to harm cats in adulthood
- Psychopathology of hurting animals
David Petrillo, a maintenance worker who was called to fix a washing machine in the basement of Gober’s home, helped crack the investigation after he spotted bag of cat food and BB gun pellets on the ground. Petrillo says he grew more suspicious when he noticed sticky traps outside the home, along with a camera and wire.
“There was cat food placed near them because he was trying lure them and stick them on the trap,” Petrillo said. “Then see it on the camera and come down and get them.”
Walter Tauro, Gober’s landlord, added that he called police after he noticed an open apartment window and cans of cat food scattered around inside.
“We recognize and can understand the great alarm these cases caused to the East Cambridge community and particularly to the cat owners,” Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. of the Cambridge Police Department said in a statement. “We have invested significant resources and closely collaborated with the Animal Commission, the MSPCA, and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office to ensure justice would be served following these very disturbing acts.”
A judge ordered Gober held without bail after a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Gober is due back in court on July 7.
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