California man avoids prison after 2021 attack on tortoise

Dec 16, 2022, 6:39 AM | Updated: 8:46 pm

Michelangelo, the 70-year-old African tortoise and San Jose preschool pet, wanders around at ARCHVE...

Michelangelo, the 70-year-old African tortoise and San Jose preschool pet, wanders around at ARCHVET Animal Hospital in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, following surgery the day before after being beaten and stabbed by an assailant. On Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, a judge sentenced the assailant to two years of probation and mandatory mental health and substance abuse treatment, according to The San Jose Mercury News. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group via AP)

(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group via AP)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California man avoided prison time Friday after he drunkenly trespassed at a preschool last year and attacked a pet tortoise named Michelangelo, The San Jose Mercury News reported.

The 42-year-old man was also linked to other break-ins at the East San Jose school, and stole thousands of dollars of items in the days before and after the attack on Michelangelo, a decades-old African sulcata, in January 2021.

The school’s owner discovered Michelangelo bleeding last year after the attack, impaled in the shell with 6-inch (15-centimeter) shards from a wooden garden gate post. The man had also shoved a rake handle between the animal’s head and leg and broke flood lamps and put the shattered glass on the tortoise’s back, The Mercury News reported.

A judge sentenced the man Friday to two years of probation and mandatory mental health and substance abuse treatment. He had pleaded no contest to charges of animal abuse, commercial burglary and vandalism earlier this year, the newspaper reported.

The man is now also banned from having any animals for 10 years. His public defender said his client’s behavior against the tortoise was the result of excessive intoxication, rather than animal cruelty, the newspaper wrote.

The preschool did not return the newspaper’s request for comment Friday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image:The headquarters of Live Nation is shown June 29, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. The Jus...

Associated Press

Government sues Ticketmaster owner and asks court to break up company’s monopoly on live events

The DOJ has accused Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America.

2 days ago

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

4 days ago

Image: Bruce Nordstrom, left, and Jeannie Nordstrom attend the Nordstrom NYC Flagship Opening Party...

Associated Press

Bruce Nordstrom, who helped grow family-led department store chain, dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family's Pacific Northwest chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

5 days ago

Image:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime min...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Netanyahu arrest warrant; Assange can appeal; UK blood scandal

The International Criminal Court said it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

5 days ago

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Ebrahim Raisi attends a m...

Associated Press

Iran president and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday.

5 days ago

Photo: Shawna Williams, owner of Free Range Cycles, poses outside her shop on May 6, 2024, in Seatt...

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Bike shops boomed early in the pandemic. It’s been a bumpy ride for most ever since

For the nation's bicycle shops, the past few years have probably felt like the business version of the Tour de France, with numerous twists and turns testing their endurance.

5 days ago

California man avoids prison after 2021 attack on tortoise