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It’s been a bizarre week for D.C. animal news. A guy who’d read a novel about a gorilla takes hostages at the Discovery Channel. A shark turns up in the Potomac. A new report says city cabbies discriminate against blind people with guide dogs. And now comes word that a kitty killer’s been on the loose for nearly a month.

According to the Washington Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement division, 30 year-old D.C. resident Ronnie Melson was arrested yesterday for killing a three-month-old kitten with a broom.

Authorities say the event happened on August 6th at a house in Southwest. Melson told investigators he cracked the kitten’s skull with the cleaning instrument after he couldn’t find a belt to beat it with. Melson was angry with the tiny tiger-striped feline—named Tyra— because she wouldn’t get off the couch. Could it get any worse? Yep. The kitten didn’t even belong to Melson—it belonged to his girlfriend’s cousin: Satonya Eggleston, 42. The society also says two kids witnessed the slaying.

“I was just crying uncontrollably. How can a person hit a cat with a broomstick that was so small,” Eggleston tells City Desk.

Eggleston was at work when news of the cat’s bludgeoning reached her. She’s been told by family members who witnessed the incident that after Tyra jumped on the couch Melson left the living room and shouted “This Motherfucker!”  When he returned with the broom and brought it down on the pet, it caused a loud thwack, she was told.

Melson will be arraigned in  Superior Court today. If prosecutors decide to pursue the case, and he’s found guilty of animal cruelty,  he could face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $250, or both. This Spring, a man who was convicted of killing his son’s pet  lizard by throwing it was given 40 hours of community service, a $100 fine and probation.

*Photo courtesy of MPD