Michael Scalise

Deliberately drowned a cat in a frozen pond

Wilmington, MA

February 6, 2000

On March 3, 2000 The Woburn, MA courts found probable cause to charge Michael Scalise of 4702 Poulliot Place, Wilmington, MA, with two counts of cruelty.  He was arraigned on March 28, in Woburn District Court, where he pled not guilty. He went to trial on April 26, 2000.

The Honorable Judge Phyllis J. Broker requested a 50-state sweep to show if Scalise had other prior convictions in any other state besides Massachusetts. The sweep found Scalise has criminal convictions in Florida and Connecticut. The court documents revealed that Scalise has had 3 jobs since the fall of 1999. Judge Broker was very concerned with the violent methods Scalise used especially when his lawyer stated that this was "just a cat".

On June 28, 2000 Scalise was sentenced to 30 days in the Billerica House of Corrections, 30 days on an ankle bracelet, being allowed only to go to work, and a fine of $1,000. He is also on probation for two years and must perform 100 hours of community service.

 Ricky Ricardo's story:

On Sunday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m., the cat named Ricky Ricardo, snuck out the front door of his owner's home as she came in. When he did not return after two days, flyers were put up around the neighborhood.

On Wednesday, February 7, Officer Stephen Mauriello reported to the family that Ricky had been drowned by one of their neighbors.  Diane Begonis of the Animal Rescue League Law Enforcement Office was also present to tell the family about the crime.

Michael Scalise purchased a trap, then set the trap in his yard, trapped Ricky, and then took him to Martins Brook approximately 7 miles away, cut a hole in the ice and drown him. A woman passing by stopped and called the police as she saw this murder take place. Officers arrived on the scene to find Michael Scalise with his trap but too late to save RickyOfficer Mauriello fell through the ice as he attempted to retrieve the body of the cat.  Fortunately he was uninjured and was able to get the cat.  An autopsy at the Tufts Veterinarian Hospital was done at the request of Animal Cruelty Investigating Officer Begonis. Scalise later returned the trap to Home Depot to get his money back; knowing full well it was used in the commission of a crime.

Charges were brought against 39-year-old Scalise by both the ARL (for animal cruelty) and by the Environmental Police (for illegal trapping).  Scalise has a record of aggravated assaults in Florida from 1978-80 and an OUI in 1990 in Massachusetts.

At the April 26th court appearance, Scalise changed his plea to guilty and is now charged with 2 counts of animal cruelty. He was released on his own personal recognizance but not before Judge Phyllis Broker, requested a 50 States leap (check for further criminal acts). Scalises' sentencing hearing will be before Judge Broker on May 24th.

Donna Ashton, the ADA for the case had requested a minimum of 6months-sentence and community service, but now that Scalise has pleaded guilty, he may face two years in jail, a fine. The maximum sentence for Animal Cruelty in the State of Massachusetts is 5 years and a $5,000 fine.

The cat's owner read a victim's impact statement in court that can be read by following the link below.

Ricky's family statement


Woburn District Court Records Docket #0053CR000599

The Woburn Advocate

The Wilmington Advertiser

The Lowell Sun