ELK GROVE, Calif. — Police say a Northern California man has been arrested after stabbing and barbecuing a family’s pet turtle.

Elk Grove police officer Christopher Trim said Wednesday that Eric Pauly stabbed and put the turtle on the grill not to eat, but out of maliciousness.

Trim says Pauly was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and violating the terms of his parole.

Police say he was an invited guest who had been staying for some time at the family’s home, but didn’t elaborate further.

Neighbor Shawn Sullivan says the family had four red-eared slider turtles that lived in an outdoor pond.

Sullivan tells KOVR-TV that the pets were the pride and joy of the household and neighborhood kids often visited to interact with them.

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