VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – An Enterprise man was arrested Thursday after being accused of covering a pet ball python in poison and leaving it to die, according to the Volusia County Sherriff’s Office.
Patrick Grimaldi, 64, is facing felony animal cruelty charges following an incident reported by the snake’s owner on Nov. 23.
According to deputies, the python’s owner moved out of Grimaldi’s home, who doubled as her landlord and roommate, after two weeks, rushing because the suspect was “controlling and verbally abusive to her.”
Deputies said she was able to take her two kittens with her, but not the snake.
The victim told investigators that a week later, she received texts and photos from Grimaldi showing the snake was dead after he poured an acid solution on it.
According to deputies, a neighbor also came forward saying she saw the snake dead in its tank “with an empty bottle of Calci-Solve super-strength concentrated descaler next to it” after hearing a rattling noise she assumes was the snake attempting to escape.
“The inside of the tank was smeared with residue that suggested the snake had been in distress and struggled to escape, but was trapped inside with the lid secured with a strap,” a release reads.
Grimaldi is currently booked in the Volusia County jail and is being held on a $2,500 bond.