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Queens Chronicle

Astoria’s canine killer pleads guilty

Milan Rysa faces nearly a year in prison

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:00 pm

Milan Rysa, the Astoria bodybuilder who threw his dog out a third-floor window to its death, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment on March 15 in Queens Criminal Court.

It was the most serious charge against him, and in exchange the animal cruelty charge was dropped, according to Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Rysa, age 30 at the time of his arrest, tossed his 50-pound shar-pei, Brooklyn, out of his apartment window on Steinway Street at around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. The canine nearly struck two women before hitting the pavement.

Based on his plea, the illegal immigrant from the former Czechoslovakia faces 364 days in prison when he is sentenced on April 18 and will be barred from owning any animal for three years, Ryan said.

Rysa’s lawyer, Ryan Schwarz, did not return calls requesting comment.

Rysa is being held at a correctional facility in the Bronx on an immigration detainer, according to both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the city Department of Correction.

An ICE spokesman would not comment on Rysa’s specific case. But in general, after completing their prison sentence, those with an ICE detainer are turned over by the local authorities to the agency, which then begins removal proceedings. An immigration judge with the Department of Justice makes the final determination as to whether deportation is warranted.

“Because of the seriousness of the crime, there is a chance that he will be deported,” said Manhattan immigration lawyer Patrick Klauss. “But depending on personal circumstances, the immigration judge would have to determine if there is any eligibility of relief from removal.”

Lori Carpino of the nonprofit Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue group in Ozone Park said Tuesday that she believes Rysa deserves a harsher sentence.

“Honestly, I don’t think the punishment fits the crime at all,” she said. “Besides being deported, he deserves more than a year in jail. He’s already served seven months, so in five months, he’ll be peacefully escorted back to his country, and who is going to make sure he doesn’t own an animal there?”

Bobbi Giordano, owner of Bobbi and the Strays, another no kill animal rescue organization, with an adoption center in Glendale and a shelter on Long Island, expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s not enough time,” she said. “He should have gotten five years or more. It was horrible. I hope he is deported. People do these things all the time because they think they can get away with it. There needs to be tougher laws. It’s murder. To me, it’s as bad as killing a person.”

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said Tuesday that he believes Rysa should be deported and added that he will be contacting his sources at the Department at Homeland Security to try and get the dog killer’s name at the top of the list.

“I think there are a lot of animal lovers that believe he should serve more time,” Vallone said. “A lot of people on my Facebook page said they think he should have been thrown out a window like he did to his dog.”

But Vallone believes the DA’s decision not to let the case go to trial was based on an assessment of resources and because it would be a hard case to prove, so it’s not something Vallone thinks should be second-guessed at this point.

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