NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities have arrested a New York City man on allegations he bludgeoned a stray cat to death with a tire iron that he pulled from his car.

Richard Ferrugio was arrested on charges of aggravated animal cruelty and criminal possession of a weapon.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesman Joe Pentangelo said Saturday that several witnesses — including children — saw the 39-year-old suspect arm himself with the tire iron and viciously beat the cat to death on a Queens sidewalk on Feb. 7. The man then fled.

After a lengthy investigation, ASPCA agents identified Ferrugio as the suspect and arrested him on Friday.

A man who answered Ferrugio’s phone number and identified himself as his father declined to comment. He said his son wasn’t available.

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