Cats tortured, set on fire
Rancho Cucamonga, CA (US)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(Also see Jan 2011 News)
Charges: Felony CTA
Defendant/Suspect: Timothy Arie Kooyman
Case Updates: 6 update(s) available
A homeless man on probation for an animal cruelty conviction was found with two tortured cats Tuesday, then linked to a small brush fire possibly started when another cat was doused in gasoline and set ablaze, officials said Wednesday.
Timothy Kooyman, 24, was arrested on suspicion of arson and felony animal cruelty after San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies found him in a truck parked at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in Rancho Cucamonga.
The deputies responding to a report of a suspicious person found Kooyman living in the truck, said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers. Deputies learned he was on probation and received permission to search the truck, she said.
They found two cats with broken bones and amputated tails. The animals and statements by the suspect led deputies to believe he may have been involved in a 4 p.m. brush fire at the end of Etiwanda Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga.
The blaze started when a cat was set on fire and thrown into the brush, Beavers said. It had similar injuries to those in the truck, she said.
"They had all clearly been tortured," Beavers said.
One cat died in the fire. The two found in the truck were alive but later euthanized by animal control officers.
Kooyman was convicted last month of a felony animal cruelty charge stemming from a November 2007 incident in Upland, according to San Bernardino County Superior Court records.
He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to undergo mental treatment and not to possess any animals.
Kooyman is being held without bail at West Valley Detention Center. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment Friday, Beavers said.
Update: March 1, 2009
Source: Orlando Sentinel
A homeless man already charged with soaking live cats in gas and torching them in California is now accused with using scissors to lop off feline tails. Timothy Kooyman was ordered to trial in May on four felony animal-cruelty charges. Last week, San Bernardino County prosecutors amended the charges to include using scissors as a deadly weapon. Kooyman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. It was not known whether he had a lawyer. Prosecutors say Kooyman, 25, lured stray cats, then broke their legs and cut off their tails with scissors. Last May, Kooyman allegedly set a live cat ablaze and started a brush blaze.
Update: July 1, 2009
Source: The Sun, San Bernardino County
A 24-year-old transient accused of torturing and killing cats will be tried on four felony counts - three related to animal abuse and one related to starting a fire, a Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.
The judge's decision came after several police officials testified against Timothy Kooyman, revealing often gruesome details about his alleged animal abuse.
He killed one of the cats by dousing it with gasoline and using a lighter to set it on fire while it was still alive, one investigator said.
The burning cat then ran through dry brush in a vacant lot in north Rancho Cucamonga, causing a small brush fire.
Kooyman will be asked to re-enter pleas on the felony counts at an arraignment July15. He had pleaded not guilty June 6 in preliminary proceedings.
On May 14, the morning after he was arrested by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, Kooyman confessed the details of his cat abuse to Detective Alonzo Daniel, the detective testified Tuesday.
Daniel said Kooyman told him that he picked up a cat May 13 and drove to the vacant lot, where he broke one of the cat's legs.
Kooyman told the detective that he wrapped a cord from a cell-phone charger around the cat's neck to hold the animal in place, then doused the cat in gasoline before setting it on fire, Daniel said.
About 10 p.m. that day - six hours after the brush fire - sheriff's Deputy Wendy Saucedo arrested Kooyman after a routine vehicle check.
She testified Tuesday that she saw blood on Kooyman's shirt, and found a plastic storage bin inside the car that had two living mutilated cats inside. Their tails had been cut off, and all of their legs were broken.
The box was filled with bloody towels, and Saucedo said she found a pair of scissors covered in cat hair inside Kooyman's vehicle.
Both of the cats were later euthanized because of the severity of their injuries, said Jesse Kreider, a Rancho Cucamonga animal control officer.
Daniel said Kooyman told him that after he lit the cat on fire, he parked his car in a nearby neighborhood and took a nap.
After he woke up, Kooyman said he lured and mutilated the two cats found in the bin, Daniel said.
Two members of a Walnut Creek-based group that seeks stiff sentences for animal abusers attended the hearing.
"He's not crazy. He's simply sadistic," said Leroy Moyer, director of Voices for Pets. "He enjoys inflicting suffering on defenseless victims."
The judge declined to proceed with three additional felony charges of animal abuse against Kooyman because the incidents at Kooyman's Corona motel room took place in Riverside County.
Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus said she or detectives in the case will contact Riverside County officials to notify them of the incidents.
Update: Mar 10, 2010
A man serving a five-year prison term for the mutilation and killing of cats in Rancho Cucamonga has denied criminal charges alleging he committed similar acts at a Corona motel.
Timothy Kooyman, 26, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Riverside Superior Court to three felony counts of animal cruelty.
Prosecutors accuse Kooyman, a former Upland resident, of luring cats from nearby neighborhoods in February 2008 while he was staying at the National Inn in Corona.
Kooyman allegedly broke the cats' legs, decapitated a cat with an ax, ran over another with his truck, and cut another repeatedly with a razor blade.
Kooyman confessed to the acts after he was arrested in May 2008 for abusing and killing cats in Rancho Cucamonga, according to investigative reports.
He was sentenced to five years in prison in May after pleading guilty to four felonies related to the Rancho Cucamonga animal abuse - three for animal cruelty and one for arson.
Prosecutors had accused Kooyman of setting a cat on fire, causing a small brush fire.
Update: December 10, 2010
An itinerant with a history of violence against animals was convicted today of multiple felonies for torturing and killing cats in a Corona motel.
After deliberating less than five hours, an eight-man, four-woman jury convicted 26-year-old Timothy Arie Kooyman of three counts of animal cruelty, with sentence-enhancing allegations that a deadly weapon was used in the mutilation deaths of the three felines at the National Inn.
Kooyman, who is still serving a five-year prison term for a previous animal cruelty conviction, could be sentenced to nearly three years behind bars by Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Davis on Jan. 7.
"This particular case serves as an example of someone who not only killed animals, but relished it," said Deputy District Attorney Sharunne Foster outside the courtroom.
On Wednesday, a San Bernardino County sheriff's detective testified that he learned about the animal torture-slayings in Corona after arresting Kooyman for killing four cats in Rancho Cucamonga.
Cpl. Alonzo Daniel said that the defendant broke the felines' legs and cut off their tails "out of pleasure."
The detective said Kooyman set one cat ablaze and threw it into a bush, triggering a vegetation fire. All of the cats died.
During a May 2008 interview with Kooyman about the killings, the defendant revealed that a few weeks earlier he had done similar things to three cats while staying at the National Inn.
Kooyman told how he lured the cats from the surrounding area using food. The animals ?" a calico, a black-and-white tabby and a Siamese ?" were kept in the motel room at different times, Daniel said.
According to the detective, the defendant bragged about snapping the calico's legs and running over it with his truck.
The detective testified that Kooyman got mad when the black-and-white cat "wouldn't love him" and "used an axe to strike the cat twice in the stomach," later decapitating it.
Daniel said that, "for no particular reason," Kooyman filled a plastic tub full of water and locked the Siamese inside, trying unsuccessfully to drown it. He used a scalpel to kill the cat.
The defendant was sentenced in May 2009 to five years in state prison for arson and animal cruelty in the San Bernardino County case. With good time credit, he was expected to be released next year.
Bay Area-based Voices for Pets pushed to have Kooyman prosecuted for the Riverside County crimes, generating about five dozen letters to District Attorney Rod Pacheco.
"He is among the worst I've seen," said Voices for Pets founder Leroy Moyer. "He is a Jeffrey Dahmer-type, a sadistic sociopath. His lust for dominance will not end until he ends up killing a human, probably a defenseless child."
Deputy Public Defender Souley Diallo told City News Service his client has "severe mental issues."
"Clearly that contributed to this crime," the attorney said.
Update: December 10, 2010
An itinerant accused of torturing and killing cats in a Corona motel told investigators that he inflicted pain on the felines just to see how they would react, a detective testified today.
San Bernardino County sheriff's Cpl. Alonzo Daniel testified that Timothy Arie Kooyman admitted beating, slashing, axing and running over the animals over a two-week period in April 2008.
Kooyman, 26, is charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty, with sentence-enhancing allegations that a deadly weapon was used in the mutilation deaths of three felines at the National Inn.
He's being held without bail at the Robert Presley jail in downtown Riverside.
Daniel testified that he first met the defendant in May 2008 after Kooyman was arrested for torturing and killing four cats in the San Bernardino County city of Rancho Cucamonga. According to the investigator, the itinerant was living out of his pickup truck and kept the cats locked in a plastic container in the back of the vehicle.
Daniel said Kooyman wanted the cats to fight, and when they wouldn't, he snapped their legs and cut off their tails with scissors.
"He told me he did it out of pleasure," the detective testified.
Kooyman set one of the felines ablaze and threw the animal into a bush, causing a minor brush fire. All of the cats were dead by the time emergency personnel arrived.
The defendant was sentenced in May 2009 to five years in state prison for arson and animal cruelty. That sentence is on hold pending the outcome of the current trial.
According to Daniel, during a four-hour interview with Kooyman, the defendant revealed what happened in Corona just weeks before the cats were killed in San Bernardino County.
Kooyman told how he lured three cats from the surrounding area using food. The animals -- a calico, a black-and-white tabby and a Siamese -- were kept in the motel room at different times, Daniel said.
He alleged that Kooyman became enraged when the calico defecated on the floor, prompting him to throw the feline around the room, break its legs and shove his finger into its anus.
"He said he did that just to see how the cat would react," Daniel testified.
Eventually, the defendant took the severely injured animal outside and ran over it with his truck, according to Daniel.
The detective testified that Kooyman got mad when the black-and-white cat "wouldn't love him" and "used an axe to strike the cat twice in the stomach."
When the cat didn't die, the defendant decapitated it, Daniel said.
He alleged that, "for no particular reason," Kooyman filled a plastic tub full of water and locked the Siamese inside, trying unsuccessfully to drown it.
The defendant later used a scalpel to slice open the cat's stomach, and then slashed its throat, Daniel testified.
All of the cats' remains were thrown behind a wall at a nearby Walgreens store.
Throughout the detective's testimony, Kooyman hung his head down and plugged his ears.
Riverside County Deputy Public Defender Souley Diallo acknowledged that there were "horrific acts" committed against animals, but told jurors that the prosecution must prove its case "beyond a reasonable doubt" before his client can be found guilty.
Case Updates ; January 7, 2011
An itinerant who has repeatedly tortured and killed cats was sentenced today to 32 months in prison.
Timothy Arie Kooyman, 26, received the maximum penalty for three counts of animal cruelty after animal welfare advocates apparently impressed the judge with the magnitude of his crimes.
"That is a significant sentence for someone who has been in state prison for the first time," said Riverside Superior Court Judge John Davis.
Davis added the 32 months to a five-year sentence Kooyman was already serving for a previous animal cruelty conviction.
During Kooyman's trial, a San Bernardino County sheriff's detective testified that he learned about the animal torture-slayings in Corona after arresting the defendant for killing four cats in Rancho Cucamonga.
Cpl. Alonzo Daniel said that during a May 2008 interview, Kooyman said he used food to lure a calico, a black-and-white tabby and a Siamese to his Corona motel room, and that he bragged about snapping the calico's legs and running over it with his pickup truck.
The detective testified that Kooyman got mad when the black-and-white cat "wouldn't love him" and "used an ax to strike the cat twice in the stomach," later decapitating it.
Daniel said that, "for no particular reason," Kooyman filled a plastic tub full of water and locked the Siamese inside, trying unsuccessfully to drown it. He eventually used a scalpel to kill the cat.
Heads of animal rights groups at the sentencing urged the judge to impose a lengthy sentence and had harsh words for Kooyman.
"I can say that I've seen the worst of the worst, and you're in the top three," Lori Curran, a member of the Animal Rescue Foundation who works as a homicide detective, told Kooyan.
Kooyman barely looked at those addressing him and instead stared straight ahead throughout the hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Sharunne Foster said that during a meeting in the judge's chambers before the hearing, Davis said he would hand out a two-year sentence. She attributed the harsher penalty to the display of emotion and concern given by the speakers.
"It seemed like it had an impact," said Anne Feingold, director of The Urban Cat Project.
The defendant was sentenced in May 2009 to five years in prison for arson and animal cruelty in a case in San Bernardino County. With good time credit, he was expected to be released next month.
The new sentence will keep him behind bars for at least two more years. It also gives him two strikes, meaning that if he is arrested for a third felony, he could be sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars.
"He is among the worst I've seen," Leroy Moyer, president of Voices for Pets, told City News Service. "He is a Jeffrey Dahmer-type, a sadistic sociopath. His lust for dominance will not end until he ends up killing a human, probably a defenseless child."
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