In a fit of anger because his “female acquaintance paid too much attention to the cat,” Joseph Petcka, 36, entered her apartment when she was at work and beat the 9-year-old domestic longhair to death, a spokesman for the ASPCA, Joseph Pentangelo said. The cat’s name was Norman.
Mr. Petcka was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal, a felony that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Judge Eileen Koretz set bail last night at $2,500, though the prosecutor requested it be set at $20,000. An order of protection was granted for the girlfriend.
“Because the press is involved, the judge set up ridiculous bail,” Mr. Petcka’s attorney, Charles Hochbaum, said as he left the courthouse. “I’ve walked people out who killed people on less bail than this.”
Mr. Petcka had small roles on “Sex and the City” and the 2000 film “What Women Want,” which starred Mel Gibson. Three neighbors of Mr. Petcka yesterday said that he is slated to play a young Tony Soprano in an upcoming episode of “The Sopranos.” An HBO spokeswoman, Nancy Lesser, said she could not confirm this last night.
A necropsy determined that the cat died from multiple blows and likely was “in extreme pain” for up to an estimated 15 minutes, Mr. Pentangelo said. Norman, who weighed less than 8 pounds, suffered a broken leg, three broken ribs, broken teeth, and a lacerated tongue, and blood was found in his stomach and chest, he said.
Though I’ve struggled to find much background information on Petka (above), a review of his performance as Tommy in the Ohio Theatre’s production of John Patrick Shanley’s “The Dreamer Examines His Pillow” can be found here.
Kevin Mitchell was unavailable for comment.