Police: Rock Hill man arrested after abusing ex-girlfriend’s cat on video

John Pritchard
John Pritchard courtesy of Rock Hill Police

A Rock Hill man was charged with cruelty to animals Monday after choking and throwing his ex-girlfriend’s cat and sending video of the abuse to her friend, according to Rock Hill Police.

John Pritchard, 21, of Milton Avenue was taken to the Rock Hill city jail, where he was later released on a $1,092 bond, police say.

Officers were called to Pritchard’s home Monday evening after someone called to report he was throwing his ex-girlfriend’s belongings into a garbage bin in front of the house, a report states.

The girlfriend, 19-year-old Valerie Gillespie, told officers Pritchard also urinated on her belongings.

Gillespie told The Herald Pritchard was upset because she went to lunch Monday with a friend and her mother.

“He sent a video of him strangling my cat to my friend,” she said. “He sent me a Snapchat of him kicking my cat.”

While police were at the house, Gillespie showed officers a video of Pritchard choking and abusing her cat, an orange calico named Dabs. Pritchard admitted to police that he sent the video to one of Gillespie’s friend showing him holding the animal by the back of its neck, the report states.

“The cat was meowing and appeared to be in discomfort while being held in this manner,” the report states. “Pritchard then made a statement that the cat wouldn’t shut up and that it was about to die.”

On the video, Pritchard walks a short distance and “hurls” the cat into a room, and the cat can be heard “landing hard” on the floor, police said.

Pritchard denied any ill treatment of the cat to the police, and said he put the cat outside. He contacted The Herald Tuesday afternoon and refuted Gillespie’s claims.

“That is not what happened,” he said. “I tossed the cat outside, now I’ve got everybody calling me a cat murderer.”

Pritchard said he broke up with Gillespie and was kicking her out Monday.

“I didn’t choke the cat. I didn’t hurt the cat in any way,” he said. “I took a video of me tossing the cat outside (and) saying ‘Come get your cat.’ She didn’t believe I was going to put her stuff outside.”

Gillespie said she later located the cat and that he was in good health “for the most part.”

Pritchard said his next court date is June 11.

Teddy Kulmala •  803-329-4082