SOUTH OGDEN — After a resident’s doorbell camera recorded a cat being tortured, South Ogden police arrested a man Wednesday on suspicion of aggravated animal cruelty.

The video, emailed to police, showed a man emerging from a home choking a small cat, smashing it into the ground and crushing it to the ground with both hands and his full body weight, a probable cause statement said.

The cat is heard on the video growling in pain, according to the charging document. The man then picked up the cat, swung it into a tree and drop-kicked it.

Jarek Benjamin Lansford, 20, was booked into the Weber County Jail on a third-degree felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, intentional or knowingly, plus five misdemeanors, including reckless driving and drug possession.

It was not immediately known whether the cat survived the abuse or when it occurred.

Police said in the arrest affidavit that as they arrived at Lansford’s home, he was driving up, saw them and sped away.

Officers said they caught up with Lansford about a mile away and arrested him.

The probable cause statement said they found marijuana dabs and a pipe in the car.

After he was read his rights, police said Lansford told them he fled because he has arrest warrants.

He said he hurt the cat to “get it back,” police said.

“He stated the cat kept climbing on the back of the couch, which he did not like,” the arrest affidavit said, adding Lansford admitted “it was indeed a disgusting display on a defenseless animal.”

Formal charges had not been filed as of Thursday morning.

Court records show Lansford pleaded guilty to class B misdemeanor domestic violence assault in Kaysville Justice Court in June 2019.

He had drug possession convictions in Layton in 2017 and in Clinton a year later.

On Jan. 25 this year, he was charged in Riverdale Justice Court with interfering with an arresting officer.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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