Beachgoers record couple torturing kitten in Sunny Isles Beach

Good Samaritan steps in to rescue kitten

A Good Samaritan came to the rescue of a small kitten that was being abused in Sunny Isles Beach in front of beachgoers.

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. – A kitten was seen being thrown around like a toy in Sunny Isles Beach and one local animal lover stepped in to save that baby feline.

Local 10′s animal advocate Jacey Birch spoke to the witness who called police and started recording the incident with the hope she could save the kitten’s life.

Eight officers responded to the scene in late September.

“The guy started being so aggressive towards me,” Natalia Martin, who witnessed the abuse, said. “He starts stepping up, he says, ‘Hey, look, this is my cat. This is not your business. I can do what I want.’ And then he was like, ‘If you don’t want me to throw the cat, give me $1,000 right now.”

Martin called beach security and eventually the police.

“They were throwing her like this into the water,” Martin said. “They were trying to make her swim and the cat was so scared, she was passing out already. She was half alive.”

Kitten rescued in Sunny Isles Beach. (WPLG)

A man and a woman appeared to terrorize the little kitten in the ocean right in front of plenty of beachgoers who recorded it all on their cellphones.

“They were just trying to pick her up and throw her again,” Martin said. “There was a beach full of people. They were trying to look and see what was going on. Everyone was shocked.”

After police approached the couple about breaking the “no animals on the beach” rules, they were also asked to leave.

But according to a police report, that’s when 27-year-old John Laguerre resisted arrest, yelling profanities at officers and being defiant.

The woman, identified by police as Jamarria Wayne, 22, is accused of screaming at officers, telling them she would bite them.

Both were eventually arrested.

At this point of all the chaos that was happening on the beach, Martin wasn’t even concerned about arrests or any kind of charges. She only had one thing on her mind -- to save that kitten.

“The police officer gave me this kitty,” Martin said. “I put her in the towel, wrote the police report -- me and my friend, we did the police report.”

“The kitten was saved. She was all shaking -- she was barely alive,” Martin added.

Wayne was charged with two felony counts of battery and attempted battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, while Laguerre was charged with resisting arrest and animal cruelty --- both misdemeanor charges.

The out-of-towners never went back to animal services to retrieve their cat -- something Martin is thankful for.

“I took this cat. I adopted her officially two days after this incident,” Martin said.

The two who were arrested have since bonded out.

Meanwhile, Martin was able to rehome the kitten.


About the Author:

Jacey Birch anchors Local 10 News Mornings each weekday from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She is also proud to be the animal advocate for Local 10's investigative team.