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METAIRIE, La. ― A Metairie man arrested in May for animal cruelty, criminal mischief and trespassing has changed his plea of not guilty to guilty in exchange for part of the charges to be dropped.
David Rossi, 57, agreed to plead guilty to the animal cruelty charges for spraying a chemical on the front porch of his neighbor’s house, including onto her cat’s food and water, according to the Humane Society of Louisiana.
In agreeing to changing his plea to guilty of animal cruelty on Jan. 3, the charges of criminal mischief and trespassing have been dropped. Rossi paid $348 in fines and court costs.
“While we don’t agree with the modest fines imposed by the courts, we are glad Mr. Rossi was caught and had to answer for his actions,” said Jeff Dorson, director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
In May 2012, Diane Marino returned from work to feed her cats and noticed a pungent smell of a chemical on her front porch, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s report on the incident.
However, Marino couldn’t identify anyone she suspected of spraying a chemical on her property.
In response, she installed a security camera, which came in handy two weeks later, when she returned from work to find the same smell blanketing her porch.
After watching the security video, Marino said she saw her neighbor, Rossi, spraying her porch, including the food and water bowls, with a chemical.
JP Sheriff’s officers responded when called by Marino, eventually going to Rossi’s house to ask him what he was spraying. Rossi responded by showing the officer a can of Raid. He was arrested and charged originally with animal cruelty.
According to the Humane Society, Raid can kill animals by causing organ failure.