Residents, animal rights groups and one Queens lawmaker are furious at an Astoria bodybuilder who allegedly killed his dog by throwing him out an apartment window. They are calling on the Queens District Attorney’s Office to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.
“It’s just disgusting,” said Lori Scharpino, the founder of Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue, based in Astoria. “We have to do whatever we can to get justice for this dog. There is never justice for these animals. They just let people get away with a slap on the wrist and that is just not acceptable.”
Milan Rysa, 30, is accused of tossing his 50-pound Shar-Pei, Brooklyn, out the third floor window of his apartment on Steinway Street at around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, according to Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for the Queens DA’s office.
In a statement given to police, Rysa said he was the owner of the dog and had let it out of the apartment to go to the roof, where neighbors told the Daily News, he allowed the dog to relieve itself, before turning off the lights and going to bed.
Heavenly Angels will be holding a vigil to honor the memory of Brooklyn and call for justice in his murder on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. outside Rysa’s apartment building at 30-59 Steinway St. in Astoria.
Rysa was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and second-degree reckless endangerment, according to the Queens DA’s office. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center for a psychiatric evaluation, according to the NYPD. He was later released on $3,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court today.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said Thursday that he had received calls and messages from at least 100 constituents who were outraged over the incident. Many of them posted their thoughts on his Facebook page.
“This guy is a disgrace to humanity and a future serial killer. Is he going to hurt a child or a person next? I don’t understand how people who heard the poor dog being abused didn’t do anything to help. Animal abuse is a crime,” posted Maria Tsucalas.
Vallone, who considers himself an animal rights activist and pet lover, said he plans to work to ensure that Rysa receives the punishment he deserves, including prison time.
The bodybuilder faces one year in prison on the animal cruelty charge and one year for reckless endangerment, according to Ryan, who noted that the dog narrowly missed striking two women before hitting the pavement. Vallone is also investigating why the ASPCA wasn’t notified right away and why an autopsy was not performed on the canine.
The lawmaker, who called Rysa a “punk” and a “creep,” loves dogs and noted that his children have a Bijon Frise named Gus Gus after the mouse in the Disney movie “Cinderella.”
Animal abusers in Queens arrested by the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department have doubled from six in 2010 to 12 so far this year. Last year were 20 cases in Brooklyn compared to 10 this year, nine in the Bronx increasing to 10 this year, and eight in Manhattan decreasing to two this year, according to ASPCA spokesman Bret Hopman.
Three main categories of animal abusers exist, according to the ASPCA. Some don’t think about or realize what they’re doing. Others commit the acts on purpose, but don’t hurt the animal more than a few times because they eventually recognize he behavior is wrong. Finally, there are those who intentionally hurt animals because they enjoy it or because it makes them feel powerful.
All the people in this group suffer from serious psychological problems that will probably not go away on their own, according to the ASPCA. Research has shown that there is a strong connection between animal abuse and other crimes, such as drug offenses, gang activity, weapons violations, sexual assault and domestic violence.
Rysa has several beefcake photos of himself on his Facebook page as well an album of Brooklyn photos titled “My Lil Bad Boy.” Neighbors supposedly witnessed the owner abusing the animal previously and leaving it unattended on the roof for hours in the heat, but did not intervene, according to published reports.
“What a sick and demented mind,” Mitch Paluszek posted of Rysa on Vallone’s Facebook page. “Whether mentally ill or morally twisted, this person should not be allowed to walk the streets. It’s just heartbreaking to think of a living thing being hurled through the air like this by the person he presumably trusted. So sad.”