Port Orange man beat crying cat to death with bat, police say

Justin Gale, 28, faces felony animal cruelty charge

Justin Gale, 28, who was arrested Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Port Orange man was arrested Tuesday after police said he beat a cat with a bat, tossed the animal down an embankment and killed it with several more strikes after it began to cry out, according to a charging affidavit.

Justin Gale, 28, was reportedly seen standing with a woman outside a home on Taylor Avenue and witnesses said he struck the cat with an 18-inch long bat, the affidavit stated. Police said Gale then allegedly walked across the street and threw the cat — wrapped in a jacket — toward a creek, officials said.

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As Gale returned to the residence, a witness said he could hear the cat crying, police said. The woman told Gale to “put the cat out of its misery,” after which he reportedly walked back to the animal and hit it three more times, the affidavit said.

Officers said they were led by witnesses to the bloodied bat, a white tank-top that was covered in blood and the battered cat, which was on the embankment across the street, wrapped in a cheetah-print jacket.

Gale denied to officers that he had been in contact with the cat, yet detectives had reportedly already caught up with two other witnesses who said Gale told them he killed the cat that morning, repeating the “misery” line.

Gale faces charges of animal cruelty via intentional, cruel death and unlawful disposal of a dead domestic animal. He was booked at the Volusia County jail on $3,000 bond.

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Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.