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NYC teen arrested in death of sibling's hamster

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March 9, 2011 03:59 PM EST | AP


NEW YORK — A New York City teenager has been arrested on a felony charge in the death of a younger sibling's hamster.

Joseph Pentangelo (pehn-TAN'-jeh-loh) of the ASPCA says the creature, which belonged to a 9-year-old, died during a domestic dispute in June.

The 19-year-old is accused of choking and squeezing the 4-ounce hamster and throwing it on the floor. It was then thrown across the street, though a necropsy concluded the animal was probably already dead by the time that happened.

Pentangelo says the charges include aggravated cruelty to animals and child endangerment. He says three children witnessed the hamster's demise.

The Brooklyn teen was arrested Tuesday night. If convicted, she could face up to two years in prison.