ONTARIO — Prosecutors have charged a Victorville man with five counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing an estimated 20 rabbits.
Shea Johnson, 22, allegedly killed the rabbits by hitting them and slamming them against a fence or wall outside a car-rental business where he worked near LA/Ontario International Airport, police and prosecutors said.
“He throws them up against the wall, he punches them, just killing them in various ways,” said Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus.
Johnson was charged July 11. He is currently out of custody, and is scheduled to be arraigned July 28 in West Valley Superior Court, Ploghaus said.
Johnson, whose full name is Shea William David Johnson, was arrested May 25 after one of his co-workers showed police video footage he shot of Johnson abusing and killing rabbits, said Ploghaus and Ontario police Sgt. David McBride.
McBride said the footage shows Johnson striking each rabbit with his fist, then placing each animal in a bag and slamming it against a fence or wall outside the business, Fox Rent A Car at 1776 E. Holt Blvd.
The co-worker secretly filmed Johnson by hiding a camera inside a parked car, Ploghaus said.
The co-worker estimated Johnson killed about 20 rabbits in the month preceding his arrest, Ploghaus and McBride said.
When officers searched Fox Rent A Car they found about a dozen rabbit carcasses behind a back fence, Ploghaus said.
Johnson was interviewed by police after his arrest, McBride said.
“He initially denied any of the acts, and eventually partially admitted to some of it,” McBride said.
Ploghaus said Johnson has no prior criminal history.