Suspect arrested in maiming of tortoise

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An 18-year-old local man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of animal cruelty and grand theft in the removal and torture of a 42-pound African spurred tortoise.

Jose “Tony” Mosqueda was arrested without incident after a search warrant was served in the 600 block of Cedar Street in Ventura, authorities said.

The tortoise, which belongs to a Ventura family with a 6-year-old autistic son, was stolen July 7 from the owners’ backyard and mutilated by someone who apparently tried to cut the animal’s neck and slice its legs from its shell, authorities said.

It is believed that the thief acted alone, police said.


“It’s a good feeling,” Sgt. Jack Richards said of Mosqueda’s arrest. “It just really pulled at some heartstrings, and it’s good to have someone in custody.”

Witnesses to the torture provided information that helped lead to the arrest, Richards said.