Sarasota County, Florida — Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Both a father and daughter have faced aggravated animal cruelty charges in connection with a viral video showing a raccoon being burned alive in a garbage can.
The video led to social media protests in August, including a change.org petition that received over 10,000 signatures.
Alicia Kinchelow, 30, and her father, Roddy Kinchelow, 63, were arrested Thursday.
The sheriff’s office said the investigation into the incident was one of the “largest” investigations ever conducted by its agriculture department.
According to Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, authorities believed Roddy stabbed the raccoon with a pitchfork, and he and Alicia left the raccoon in a trash can while they went to lunch.
When they returned, the raccoon was still alive. Hoffman said he put some kind of flammable liquid in the raccoon’s trash can and set it on fire.
Hoffman said there was no video evidence of the raccoons making aggressive or assertive movements.
Hoffman said it was “cruel and inhumane”. He said both men only asserted their rights at the time of their arrest and did not disclose their motives.
“Based on the comments that they were doing this to this animal, I’m guessing it’s pure entertainment value and that just makes it even more heinous and sick,” Hoffman said.
In a video posted online by Alicia, authorities said Roddy was seen hoseing a smoking trash can, which appeared to have caught fire.
In the video, Alicia can be heard saying, “I just toasted him (expletive) I’m hungry.”
Authorities became aware of the video on August 11, according to arrest documents. The next day, her agent met with Alicia at her home.
She admitted to posting the video and told a representative she saw a smoldering trash can when she and her father returned from lunch. and poured it into the dumpster, which she said began to “burn up.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Alicia said she keeps water at the location in case the food truck’s radiator needs it. Alicia also told authorities that at one point her father threw a lit cigarette into the dumpster before she left for lunch.
Hoffman said authorities tested the liquid in the gas can and confirmed it was a flammable liquid, not water.
Hoffman said the charge of destroying evidence against Alicia related to her removing a dead raccoon from a trash can. It is said that he was reaching out to the trash can with something that looked like a rake used for the purpose.
Officials said the video showed her walking away with the dead raccoon from the camera’s view. Hoffman said no raccoon carcasses have been found.
On August 31, detectives called Alicia after speaking with a witness who said she had seen the video, according to arrest documents.
According to the documents, witnesses told detectives that Alicia admitted her father stabbed the raccoon and later poured gas on the raccoon and set it on fire while it was still alive. to extinguish the fire, and Alicia removed the corpse. Witnesses said Alicia removed the dead raccoon to hide it from authorities, according to the documents.
Hoffman said the charges against Alicia and Roddy are third-degree felonies. ABC Action News has attempted to contact the family, but has received no response.
“I look into her eyes and think about the suffering she went through,” said Tracy Lipton, a local animal activist.
Lipton said she lost herself when she saw the raccoon video. Now she wants justice done.
“It’s started. We’re very happy about it. It’s not over yet,” Lipton said.