Vincenzo Carlisi of Coral Springs, Florida was arrested Tuesday for allegedly recording a video of co-worker Joseph Amico beating a raccoon to death, news sources report. Amico was arrested for animal cruelty last week after the video drew negative reactions on Facebook. Carlisi, 26, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of animal cruelty this week. It is unclear whether he has qualified for bail bond. The press did not specify an attorney for Carlisi.
According to reports, Carlisi and Amico both worked at Carl’s Patio in Coconut Creek, where the alleged incident occurred. Sources indicate Amico, who was referred to as a “model employee,” has since been fired for his role in the beating. It is unclear whether the store plans to take similar action with regard to Carlisi. Paul Otowchits, president of the store, told the press that “[The raccoon killing] was horrible, absolutely deplorable. We are cooperating with the police department currently.”
The alleged beating occurred at around 7:45 Tuesday morning out back of Carl’s Patio in the 6800 block of State Road 7 in Coconut Creek. Reports say Carlisi and Amico found the raccoon stuck inside a dumpster located outside the back of the store. Sources say Amico collected a piece of 2-by-4 and moved in on the raccoon. As he did, Carlisi allegedly pulled out his cellphone and began recording. Based on reports, Carlisi can be heard in the video shouting, “You catch him, I’ll cook him,” and “Blast him, blast him.”
During Amico’s court hearing, a county judge describe the video, purportedly saying, “The raccoon is captured on video on its hind legs reaching up to you and, at some point, you took a swing at the raccoon with the 2-by-4, fracturing its skull and causing it to die a slow, painful death.” The judge reportedly said that, in the video, the raccoon appeared impassive and not threatening. “All it did was stand on its hind legs for you just before you hit it with the 2-by-4,” the judge reportedly stated. “Allegedly, police asked you what you thought of the raccoon’s behavior and you allegedly said, ‘it looked helpless.'”
Following the incident, Carlisi uploaded the video of Amico bludgeoning the raccoon to death on Facebook. Someone on the social network watched the video and reported it to wildlife officials, reports say. A subsequent investigation by police led to Amico’s arrest. Amico, 26, has been charged with animal cruelty; his bail was at $25,000 due to the violent nature of the crime and Amico’s arrest record. Amico was previously charged and convicted of trafficking opium; he spent three years in prison and was released in January 2011, reports say.
According to the University of Florida, home or business owners who are plagued by bothersome raccoons are legally allowed to capture and “humanely” kill them. Raccoons are a common pest in both rural and urban areas: they carry diseases and, attracted by human food, often take up residence near or even inside of buildings.