A 38-year-old man is accused of stabbing a pet ball python 19 times and leaving a knife in the reptile as it slowly died in Pompano Beach, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Roy Strickland, of Pompano Beach, is charged with causing cruel death, pain and suffering to an animal.
The python had been enclosed in its glass cage in a home along the 400 block of Southwest Second Street when Strickland allegedly reached in and slashed the animal 19 times, according to an arrest report.
Strickland allegedly said that the snake was evil when he stabbed the pet python of Jonathan Bernado-Robles about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office said.
Ball pythons are so-named because of their tendency to curl up when frightened or stressed.
"When the police got there, the snake was still alive with one of the knives still inside the snake," said Broward County Judge John "Jay" Hurley during Strickland's first appearance court hearing Wednesday.
A Pompano Beach animal control officer was called to the scene and the snake was euthanized with the owner's permission.
According to the police report read during Strickland's hearing, "the snake died a slow death as a result of the stabbing," Hurley said.
"The animal was not a threat to anyone; it was inside of a cage," Hurley said, "It does seem like the violence was gratuitous."
At the time of his arrest, Strickland had been out on pre-trial release for two other unrelated cases—a stalking and a robbery and battery on a person over 65 years of age, Hurley said.
The judge revoked the bonds on those cases and ordered Strickland held without bail.