Salt Lake man assaulted girlfriend, killed kitten, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man allegedly put his girlfriend’s kitten in a box with “rigid items” and shook it, killing the animal, according to police.

Stephen Tanner Smith, 19, of Salt Lake City, was arrested Sunday for investigation of two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Police were called to the apartment where Smith and his girlfriend live after he “forced her out (of the apartment) by pushing her out the door and wrapping his forearm around her neck then dragging her out with her head and neck locked with his forearm,” according to a police affidavit.

As officers further investigated, they learned that on Aug. 31, Smith had also “strangled (his girlfriend) with both hands around her neck,” the affidavit states. On that same day, the woman claimed Smith “attempted to drown (their) adult cat in the bathtub by holding it underwater then proceeded to beat the adult cat with his hands and fists then placed the adult cat in a box with other rigid items and violently shook the box,” the affidavit states.

That cat survived its injuries, the woman said.

But Smith also took the kitten they have, and “also beat the kitten with his hands and fists then placed the kitten in a box with other rigid items then violently shook the box causing injury and death to the kitten,” according to the affidavit.

The kitten’s body was found in a yard next to their apartment, the affidavit states.

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Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or knows of a victim in Salt Lake City is encouraged to call police at 801-799-3000 and ask to speak with a victim advocate or call a 24-hour hotline at 801-580-7969.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 or the Utah LINKLine at 1-800-897-5465 for confidential assistance.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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