The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office says a 19-year-old has been arrested for stealing and torturing hamsters from the local PetsMart where he was employed.
According to an affidavit, William Joseph Riddick admitted to stealing small animals from the store over a two-month period and giving them to friends until he was caught on May 3. The estimated value of the animals is over $850.
Riddick said he'd stolen two hamsters the night before he was interviewed by police that had to be taken to Banfield Hospital inside the store after Riddick admitted to abusing them. One hamster that had a cut in its back was bleeding from the nose and mouth and had to be euthanized by the vet while the other had to have its leg amputated.
Riddick admitted to pinching the first hamster in the back after it bit him and said he'd swung the other in circles by its leg.
Police say Riddick confessed to killing five hamsters by throwing them against the wall or hitting them when they tried to run away.
The district attorney's office says Riddick is being charged with six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of theft.
While prosecutors sought a $10,000 bond the judge granted Riddick a $200 cash bond, unsupervised.
Riddick is scheduled to be formally advised of his charges in Jefferson County Court Friday morning at 10.
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