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Miami Beach man accused of shooting cat with crossbow is deported

Georgios Lollias will avoid prison time if he does not return to US

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Miami Beach hotel worker accused of shooting a stray cat with a crossbow has been deported, authorities said.

Georgios Lollias -- a Greek national -- was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and tampering with evidence in July.

Terry Gonzalez-Chavez, a spokeswoman for the state attorney's office, said Homeland Security had detained Lollias in Miami while he awaited trail.

But in September, the agency moved Lollias along with other detainees to a facility in Louisiana to get the inmates out of the path Hurricane Irma, Gonzalez-Chavez said. Instead of returning Lollias to Miami after the hurricane, Homeland Security decided to deport him, Gonzalez-Chavez said,

Lollias returned to Greece on Nov. 29 -- a day before he was to stand trial in the animal cruelty case, Gonzalez-Chavez said.

Lollias faces a warrant for his arrest if he ever returns to the United States, Gonzalez-Chavez said. Lollias faced up to 10 years in prison if he was convicted.

The cat, nicknamed Strushie, was found with an arrow through its head and neck on April 26 outside the Franklin Hotel in South Beach. Strushie had to be euthanized because of the injuries.

Animal activists started a Facebook group called "Justice for Strushie" and offered a $27,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest. They put pressure on police to pursue the case.

Police said Lollias -- also known as Georgios Kollias Rivera -- later admitted to shooting the cat with the crossbow.

According to a Miami Beach police report, surveillance video from the hotel's security cameras appeared to have been deliberately deleted, so police enlisted the assistance of the U.S. Secret Service to help them recover the footage.

Lollias worked as a clerk at the Franklin Hotel. He also occasionally worked for the hotel security staff, which is how he was able to access the security footage, police said.

Some members of the "Justice for Strushie" group were dismayed by the news of Lollias' deportation.

“I wanted to see him convicted. I wanted to see him serve some jail time,” said Gillian Mirabelle who founded the Facebook page. “We were hoping that this would have sent a message regarding animal cruelty.” 

Fellow "Justice for Strushie"  group member Christine Dundas added:"His deportation enabled him to escape justice,"