A pair of men in Northeast D.C. have been arrested on charges of animal cruelty stemming from the April 22 killing of an opossum, the Washington Human Society-Washington Animal Rescue League said on Thursday.
Shortly after midnight that day—in the driveway behind 1218 Taylor St. NE—Carlos Lyles and Mark Grimes allegedly beat an opossum to death “with a variety of objects, including a glass bottle, sticks, and a wooden bat,” the group said in a release. A humane law enforcement and an animal control officer who responded to the scene found the mammal dead in an alley as well as “a large puddle of blood on the pavement” and possible “blood spatter” on nearby objects. They collected “a broken hockey stick, [a] broken wooden pole, and a bicycle stick”—all covered in “blood and hair.” According to WHS-WARL, Lyles was arrested on Thursday morning; Grimes was arrested earlier this month, on June 7.
“Crimes against wildlife are more common than one would think,” Scott Giaccopo, WHS-WARL’s Chief Community Animal Welfare Officer, said in a statement. “These two men showed a grave indifference to animals, causing the suffering and death of this innocent and vulnerable opossum.”
Through a necropsy, the group added, the Virginia Department of Agriculture determined that the opossum suffered “injuries, fractures, and bruising consistent with blunt force trauma,” leading to “a combination of blood loss and respiratory distress from the trauma to the thorax.” WHS-WARL said it’s also looking for a suspect who set illegal traps that recently killed a raccoon. The deceased animal was found between condos on the 2600 block of 39th Street NW.