Crime and Punishment

Barclays analyst arrested on charges of cat torture: Authorities

A Barclays analyst faces animal cruelty charges

A man who was been working as an analyst for Barclays has been arrested on charges that he tortured a cat belonging to his roommate in their New York City apartment, prosecutors said.

The analyst, 24-year-old Declan Garrity of the United Kingdom, has been put on leave because of Wednesday's arrest, and faces possible further action from Barclays, CNBC has learned.

"Barclays placed him on a leave of absence pending a thorough investigation," a spokesman for the financial services giant said.

The spokesman declined to comment when asked if Garrity was still being paid during his leave. Garrity's lawyer, Davim Horowitz, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Garrity, whose Facebook page says he's a native of Northern Ireland, is in the U.S. on a work visa, prosecutors said.

Barclays Bank building
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Garrity had been working at Barclays' offices in New York since October 2014, according to his LinkedIn page. He wrote that in his job he was responsible for ensuring that all new and existing client relationships had appropriately undergone "Know Your Customer" screening, which is done to verify the identity of clients.

He graduated with honors from Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2013, and subsequently received a master's in international business from the Hult International Business School, with distinction, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office says that last November the 180-pound Garrity moved into an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The apartment was already occupied by another person, and that person's cat, named "Lucy," who weighs just 8 pounds.

The complaint says that Garrity's roommate told police that "shortly after [Garrity] moved into the apartment, the individual observed Lucy's behavior change, including hiding in the individual's bedroom closet, not eating and constantly licking her paws."

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On Jan. 25, Garrity told his roommate that "an iron had fell on the cat" while the roommate was at work, the complaint said. Lucy was found to have a broken pelvis after that incident, according to authorities.

Last Saturday morning, the complaint says, that the roommate came home from work and found Lucy "hiding in her carrier [with] her rear foot facing in the wrong direction," and that she was damp and missing hair. The roommate also saw paper towels on a bedroom vanity with "cat hair and blood."

A veterinarian who examined Lucy found that she had suffered a dislocated and fracture bone in her leg, several broken ribs, broken teeth, burns across various areas of her body, as well as broken claws.

When Garrity spoke to a detective from the New York Police Department's Special Victims Division, he told her "that he was in the apartment alone with Lucy on the night" of Friday and into Saturday morning, according to the complaint.

Garrity was charged by prosecutors with "torturing and injuring animals." He was also charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, with one of those counts accusing him of acting "in depraved/sadistic manner," according to court documents.

Garrity was arraigned Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court. He was ordered held on $5,000 bail, which he had not posted as of midday Thursday, according to the city Department of Correction's database. He is next due in court Monday.

Lucy The Cat
Source: gofundme

The cat's 29-year-old owner told the New York Daily News on Thursday that Lucy is in an intensive care unit at an animal treatment center. The feline is on a feeding tube, and her medical bills have already topped $10,000.

"It's nauseating," said the cat's owner to the News, as she was having the locks changed on her apartment on Thursday. "I've been disgusted with everything ... I thought he was the best roommate I ever had. It's bizarre."

She told the newspaper that when Lucy began avoiding Garrity in January "I thought it was weird."

"I was like, 'How can we get the cat to like him?' Your mind doesn't go straight to 'He's doing something to my cat,'" she said.

The owner called Lucy "a great cat."

"I couldn't love her any more," she told the News. "She's very attached to me."

A "Go Fund Me" page to help pay for "Lucy the Cat's Medical Fund" had collected more than $2,400 by Friday.