MERRICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Merrick man attending college in Rhode Island has been charged with killing a cottontail rabbit with a hockey stick and using its carcass as a puck, Newport police said.

Salve Regina University student Nicholas Coyle, 19, was arraigned at Newport District Court Wednesday on a felony charge of animal cruelty and was released on bail.

Coyle has been on the school’s men’s lacrosse team, but is not listed on the preliminary 2012 roster.

Coyle’s lawyer, Susan Perkins, says he signed a waiver that would allow extradition from another state if he does not appear. She would not comment further.

“Any form of abuse or torture of an animal is completely unacceptable  and is contrary to the values of Salve Regina University,” the  university said in a statement. University spokesman Matt Boxler praised students who offered information helping police.

Long Island has been in the spotlight recently regarding cases of animal abuse. In July, a seagull was killed in Montauk when officials say someone threw a rock the size of a brick at the bird after luring it down to the beach with some bread.

Days later, two other seagulls were found, one impaled with an arrow in the Patchogue area and the other impaled with a dart in Sag Harbor, and an Eastern Box Turtle was found in Smithtown with a nail driven through its shell.

“I’ve never seen all of these cases before and I’ve been doing this for 28 years. It’s very disturbing,” Suffolk County SPCA head Roy Gross  said in July.

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(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (41)
  1. Jim says:

    Hear ye, hear ye…..
    Moral bankruptcy is coming to our society, our city, our town, our neighborhood.

  2. Jim says:

    Hear ye, hear ye…..
    Moral bankruptcy is coming to our society, out city, our town, out neighborhood.

  3. RILADY says:

    What bothers me most are the comments “the kid make a stupid mistake”. Look up the definition of “mistake”, this was NOT a mistake. A mistake is when you do not mean to commit cruel damage to someone or something. Those of you who do not know the difference are dangerous too. I hope that you (or one of your loved ones) are never face to face with someone with this type of mindset, someone who would derive some sort of sick satisfaction by beating on you.

  4. Jessie says:

    Kids put a rocket inside this poor beautiful dog’s mouth and taped it closed. This is the heartbreaking result. There was nothing the vets could do to save him. May he R.I.P See More Check out the name below on facebook to see the picture if possible.
    By: Charlotte Khennaf
    .There is a picture of a dog whose face was blown off by the cruel act of some kids. I guess it is only a dog so no big deal. Cut these kids some slack, it was only a dog and Nick didn’t do anything wrong either because that was only a rabbit.

  5. blahblahblah says:

    Wow. Kid from Long Island? When these (types of) kids do these things, people are so quick to dismiss it and say “it’s only a rabbit” or “it’s just cheating on the SAT, no one was hurt” and things like that. But the whole mentality involved — the indifference towards life or others is just the beginning. No doubt it’s a precursor to being a sh1tty adult who would lie, cheat and stick it to anyone else just for the heck of it.

  6. Daisy says:

    Nicholas A. Coyle, 19, of (home) 2143 Burke Place, Merrick, N.Y., (college) 24 Middleton Ave., Newport.

    There is no defense for this evil, horrific murder. “It was only a rabbit.”? You don’t really believe he has just started this behavior, do you? He’s most likely been ramping up in secret for years. If you can read about this vile human and not feel disgusted, you need to get yourself into therapy ASAP!

    Mahatma Gandhi: “One can measure the greatness and the moral progress of a nation by looking at how it treats its animals.”

  7. JH says:

    Sick SOB. Hope the school throws his sorry ass out.

  8. thor's hammer says:

    what a disgrace you are to your community in new york and college community in rhode island. hope you’re off the lacrosse team, and at the very least suspended, if not bounced from college. unfortunately jail time will be minimal. bring back the stocks & pillory from colonial days. you should also be made to stand with a sign identifying your heinous act. may you be shunned by friends & family. you should be made to muck out animal stalls as part of any lengthy probation. remember his name potential employers. parents – don’t tell us what a good boy he is, and forget the diminished capacity nonsense – not buying that. hope your penance is a long and verrrrrrrrrrrry miserable one. justice for all creatures great and small.

  9. Long Island says:

    I live on long island and if i ever saw a piece of trash like him harm any animal I would give him the exact same beating he was giving the animal but on a much more intense level…. he and everyone like him make me love my Dogs even more.. he’s nothing but trash and i hope his family is very proud of raising garbage

  10. Matthew Behrman says:

    yeah he will be banned from his church,disowed by hi s friends and family and see him paired with Big Bubba and the hardcroe inmate to see how it feels on the other side …THIS KID IS A MORON!

  11. Astrokittycat says:

    This is absolutely disgusting!!! If the guy had a pet dog, would he do the same? The answer: maybe he would. He seems to have a severe disconnect between his brain & whatever moral values/kindness to living beings that he might have been taught — & from the name of his school, it sounds like he goes to a Catholic school. He should be expelled, for starters. Publically denounced & spit on by his neighbors, religious leaders, etc.

    And, Long Island seems to be a breeding ground for imbeciles like him. There is hatred, bigotry, rascism, cruelty/death to animals reported continuously from the denizens of Nassau/Suffolk counties. You all make us so proud of you. (NOT!). One has to wonder what his parents are like! Who taught him that stuff like this is OK? Morons, the whole bunch of them, & yes, I wouldn’t mind imagining putting a lacrosse stick up where it would see no light & would do him a lot of harm & pain — but I wouldn’t actually DO it! He’s a pervert & will only get worse as he gets older. Sicko. Also, what might be do to his possible future children, should some woman be so stupid as to marry this perv & bear his kids. He & other pervs like him should be exiled to a place they cannot excape from, & let them have at each other, until death claims them all.

  12. LG says:

    Funny ha ha…what a dumb ass.

  13. RR says:

    I cannot think of anything bad enough to do to this piece of garbage–Oh yes, water board him for real and don’t stop until he stops breathing.

  14. DaEmph says:

    Looks like white trash high on meth to do something sick like that. He is in college?!?! Studying what? Psychopath-ology?

  15. Besalel says:

    Are you guys nuts? He may not be a great guy but some perspective is necessary here. The man killed a rabbit. Like in Bugs Bunny. Whats tomorrow’s headline news? “8-year old boy shines magnifying glass on ants in backyard causing ant Holocaust. Millions dead. Boy to be Tried As An Adult” And all you idiots will be calling for his head. Sheesh, take it easy, muchachos.

    1. badman says:

      this person caused unnecessary suffering. and a kid killing a million ants is more likely to be a sociopath than one who doesn’t. Why tolerate wanton cruelty?

      And then you compound your short-sightedness by calling people who disagree with you “idiots.” Here’s some perspective for you: you aren’t such a great guy, either.

      1. Joe says:

        Today a rabbit, tomorrow a person. We need to nip these sociopaths in the bud.

        1. Besalel says:

          i agree that the guy is a jerk and a fool to boot but i dont really consider what he did a crime. not all retards are criminals. are we forgetting that we are talking about a rabbit? 10 years in jail for killing a rabbit? sodomize him for killing a rabbit? shoot him for killing a rabbit? are you reading these comments? while his intentions may be depraved, what he actually did was not much different than what you and i do (with purer intentions) when we set out glue traps to catch mice.

          this man is not decent but he is not really a criminal either.

          1. Bunny says:

            @ Besalel – Read Joe’s above your comment

            TODAY A RABBIT, TOMORROW A PERSON, it’s about having empathy for another living creature. If there is no empathy often there is an underlying mental illness and the abuse and torture escalates ultimately to murder. Sometime in the future it could very well be a baby that he’s entrusted to care for.

          2. badman says:

            there’s some utility in setting out glue traps, and for that matter, killing food animals. although in both those cases, there is most often cruelty involved. And it would be a better world if we could find a way to eliminate all cruelty.

            but this guys committed cruelty for no other reason than to be cruel. if he got caught, he should be punished.

            what if he did it to a dog? would he be a criminal then? who are you to draw that line?

          3. JF says:

            Agreed…you people crying for his head are a little out of touch with reality!!

        2. joey from B'hurst says:

          Today a rabbit; tomorrow, a job as a Fortune 500 CEO. This is the type of aggressive behavior that shows leadership. Not some phony coward that gets a viscous breed of dog, and sics it on other dogs in the park.

      2. Besalel says:

        The difference between you and I is that I see a human being who made a stupid mistake- someone’s brother, son and boyfriend while you are looking for a pound of flesh from anyone that has ever done something wrong no matter how insignificant and whether or not any person was actually harmed.

        I mean had he taken a litter of puppies and thrown them one by one into the river i would say that rises to a level of depravity that may require criminal intervention despite the fact that no person was actually harmed but what this guy did? no way.

        Have you never done something extremely stupid in your entire life (especially as a 22 year old). Has your son never?

        What this young man did was stupid but waterboarding? jail?

        1. quiet please says:

          Just shut up already you make no frickin sense.

          1. Besalel says:

            “i am starting to feel a lot like charton heston stranded on a primate planet” – Michael John Burkett

            1. RIlady says:

              Please everyone read the entire story, the animal was tortured befor he killed it and used it as a puck. He returned after it was dead and played with it again. If you have the stomach, the vet at the RISPCA detailed SOME of the injuries. I am finding that most everyone commenting does not understand the whole story. This was not an animal killed humanely for food by a hunter, or farmer. This was torture, plain and simple for his sadistic pleasure and if you don’t see the difference please post your address so that your neighbors can move as far away from you as possible. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Torture for the sheer pleasure or for your own entertainment of any living thing is WRONG!

              1. joey from B'hurst says:

                Where does it say the animal was tortured?

        2. Jessie says:

          This has little to do with the specific species of animal involved but has all to do with the violent and brutal manner in which the killing was carried out. What was the mentally deranged thought process going through this kids mind? I assume that when Jeffrey Dalmer killed his first animal there may have been some who would have said it was only a frog, etc. Unfortunatley he never got caught until he starting killing kids and eating them. I guess you have to start some where? Is he the next Jeffrey Dalmer, I don’t know and neither does anyone else? It might be a good idea to keep an eye on him….

    2. Jim says:

      Seems like you killed some dogs and tortured some rabbits in your time, haven’t you ami-gutter-gos.

  16. Guidance Counselor says:

    Way to go ret@rd. This’ll look great on your resume!

  17. kitiekat says:

    Usually if you hurt or kill an animal it leads to hurting or killing a human being. Such a shame that someone could do this to a helpless animal. Hope that he gets his!

  18. Bunny says:

    How could this man do this to a cottontail rabbit or any animal. Wow I can’t wrap my head around this one it’s so sad.

    1. Prof T says:

      Throw him out of school and then use him as a hockey puck. Future Ted Bundy for sure. Lock him up with BUBA. He needs some tough love!!!

  19. SHOOT HIS ASS.. says:

    Why is this piece of trash still out free on bail? Shoot him and use his sorry ass as a hockey puck……

  20. NYGirl says:

    So disturbing that people treat another living creature like that. I hope that this beast and the people that did that to the seagulls get theres. I really believe that what comes around goes around.

  21. BugzBunnyFan says:

    10 years at minium for this type of worthless bacteria. I’m getting sick and tired of child and animal abuse.

  22. jack holmes says:

    I hope someone shoves that hockey stick up his ass.

  23. Sal says:

    People who harm animals will most likely be involved in more serious crimes later in life. Indifference to the sufferings of others, human or not, is a sign of a psychopath.

    1. its good to know says:

      how right you are

  24. Peter says:

    Lock this animal up !!!!!

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