Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182
www.doccs.ny.gov

For immediate release:

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Corrections sergeant accused of killing five kittens at Sing Sing;
Faces felony charge under state's 1999 "Buster's Law" to protect animals

Corrections Sergeant Ronald A. Hunlock was charged tonight with a felony violation of the state's Agriculture and Markets Law for allegedly killing five kittens on March 11, 2001, by dumping them into a hydraulic compactor and activating the machine inside of the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, said Commissioner Glenn S. Goord.

"If this charge is proven to be true, it represents a heartless and gross action that calls for the strongest response," Commissioner Goord said. Because the charge is a felony, Commissioner Goord said that Sergeant Hunlock will be suspended immediately and without pay when he reports for his next duty shift, scheduled for 7 a.m. tomorrow.

It is alleged that the day of the incident, Sergeant Hunlock was searching an inmate's cell at about 2:30 p.m. when he found a box containing the kittens in the cell. Cats are a common site in sprawling state prisons and so, therefore, are kittens. Sergeant Hunlock ordered the inmate to carry the box outside of B Block to a trash compactor that measures 4x6x12-feet. The compactor is emptied each day.

When the inmate refused to place the kittens in the compactor, Sergeant Hunlock allegedly did so himself. He is accused of then activating the compactor, killing the kittens.

An investigation into the incident began the day it occurred involving this Department's Office of the Inspector General, the Division of State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney's office.

Sergeant Hunlock was at his post in Sing Sing today when he was called out for an interview with the State Police from Hawthorne. He was arrested by the State Police at 4 p.m. and charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal. Under the state's "Buster's Law," the charge is a Class E felony punishable by up to two years in prison. Governor George E. Pataki signed Buster's Law in June of 1999.

He was arraigned at approximately 8:00 p.m. today before Yorktown Town Justice Jeffrey A. Cohen. Sergeant Hunlock pleaded not guilty. He was remanded to the Westchester County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail. His next court appearance will be at 9:30 a.m. on April 3 in Ossining Village Court.

Hunlock, 56, has been a sergeant at Sing Sing for five years. He is paid $51,425 annually. He works as the B block program sergeant on the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. He had earlier spent 15 years as a Correction Officer at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch.