SBCC student arrested for beating cat

Alexandra Wilcox, Alexandra Wilcox, and Alexandra Wilcox

A City College student was arrested Saturday on a felony count of animal cruelty after police say he smashed a cat’s head against the wall in his Loma Alta home.

Nicholas David Thompson, 21, is held on $20,000 bail on the charge of abusing his roommate’s four-month-old cat Gigi and tossing it into a running shower after it had urinated on Thompson’s bed, according to a Santa Barbara Police Department press release.

The cat had suffered brain swelling, ruptured eye blood vessels, and a depressed heart rate and was taken to a nearby Mesa veterinary hospital. Gigi has since improved and has been released to its owner.

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, Thompson’s 19-year-old roommate who owned the cat, and the owner’s friend heard a banging noise and found Thompson forcefully knocking the cat’s head against the wall, police say. Thompson continued to throw the cat into a closed shower and turned on the water.

According to the report, Thompson had barred the cat’s owner and the owner’s friend from retrieving the cat from the shower, but eventually let them pass after a few minutes of convincing. Thompson then chased them into the cat owner’s room, continuing to yell and physically threaten them.

When the owner and his friend tried to leave with the severely injured cat, Thompson again blocked their path and told them they couldn’t leave until they cleaned the cat’s urine from his bed, police say.

As they continued to leave, police say Thompson shoved his roommate back into his room. They were able to leave a few minutes later and took the cat to the Santa Barbara Pet Hospital on 1807 Cliff Dr. Police say the cat was near death.

According to the report, police and Animal Control went to Thompson’s Loma Alta house and found him smoking marijuana in his room.

After they questioned him, police arrested Thompson for animal cruelty, false imprisonment and battery.

Angela Summerson, supervisor of Admissions and Records, confirmed Thompson is enrolled at City College.