Clearwater man charged with felony animal cruelty

Joshua Daniel Pena-Cedillo

CLEARWATER — Police arrested a 22-year-old Clearwater man about 9:30 a.m. April 23 for animal cruelty in connection with an incident involving the family’s cat.

Clearwater police responded to a residence on Sedeeva Circle North after Joshua Daniel Pena-Cedillo's stepfather said he found the cat's severed head on a stick in the back yard.

Officers say Pena-Cedillo told them two versions of how the cat had died, including that he had strangled it and he had placed it alive in a plastic bag and suffocated it.

Police say he then told them he had cut off the cat's head with an ax and then tried to impale it on a stick. When that effort failed, he taped the cat's head to a stick.

Officers say he also cut off the head of a stuffed animal he had had for years and taped it on to another stick. He reportedly said his actions were intended to show “what he was capable of to someone he was living with,” according to police.

Pena-Cedillo was booked into the county jail on one felony charge of cruelty to animals. Bail was set at $5,000. He also is on hold for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.