Nicholas Coyle, a Salve Regina University Lacrosse player, has been arrested in Newport on charges of animal cruelty after he allegedly killed a rabbit with a hockey stick and used the body as a puck.
WPRO's John DePetro said Newport Police arrested Coyle, 19, at 12:40 p.m. at his Newport apartment.
He was arraigned at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon at Newport County Court house on a felony charge of animal cruelty.
"I'm hoping that the judicial system will send a message that will deter others from getting involved in such heinous acts of animal cruelty and that these people will take heed to this," Dr. Finocchio told WPRO news. Finocchio said he hopes the court will take this crime serious and not just give Coyle a "slap on the wrist."
Salve Regina University released a statement commending students who came foward with information about the case and said that the school is conducting it's own investigation and will take "appropriate disciplinary action." The disciplinary action will not be disclosed to the public due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Punishments range from probation to dismissal.
"Any form of abuse or torture of an animal is completely unacceptable and is contrary to the values of Salve Regina University," the statement said. more