Sheriff: Florida Keys man tossed 2 kittens out of moving SUV, 1 dead

Witness adopts surviving kitten, deputies say

(L) Diego Torres Ruiz - (R) surviving kitten (MCSO)

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies in the Florida Keys arrested a 29-year-old Islamorada man Thursday after they said he tossed two kittens out of the window of his moving SUV, officials said.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Adam Linhardt said on Nov. 28, a driver reported seeing two kittens “tumble” out of a Hyundai Santa Fe driving on U.S. 1, near mile marker 87, “causing vehicles to swerve to avoid hitting them.”

The witness took down the vehicle’s tag number and deputies were able to identify the suspect as Diego Torres Ruiz, who denied knowing anything about the kittens, Linhardt said.

Later that day, deputies found one of the kittens dead after it was apparently struck by a vehicle.

“A second nearby kitten ran into the woods and out of sight, but was later found by a Rain Barrel Village employee and taken to MarrVelous Pet Rescues in Key Largo with non-life-threatening injuries,” Linhardt said.

Officials said there was a happy ending for the surviving feline.

The witness who reported the crime adopted the living kitten and “confirmed the kittens looked like those from the incident on U.S. 1″ and identified Ruiz’s SUV as the vehicle on the highway, Linhardt said.

Ruiz was charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

He’s set to be arraigned Jan. 3.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.