SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Disturbing surveillance video has surfaced from a nature preserve on Long Island.
A goat is seen being forced to swallow beer. Police are now looking for the men caught on camera.
The video is shocking in its cruelty and stupidity.
The men are seen pouring beer down a goat’s throat and laughing about it.
Police say a pair of vandals broke into a Long Island nature preserve and harassed the animals. (Credit: Smithtown Department of Public Safety/Facebook)
“I am furious and disgusted,” Sweetbriar Nature Center director Janine Bendicksen said of the incident.
The Smithtown Public Safety Department said it was part of a break-in and vandalism at the nature center back in February. Sweetbriar is home to more than 100 animals.
The just-discovered surveillance video shows four men in hoodies — who officials say were trespassing on the property — climbing into the pig pen, opening cages, disturbing the animals, and, yes, giving a goat beer to drink.
Bendicksen said it may have been worse.
“They harassed them. They were here causing trouble,” she said.
The men seem unconcerned until they discover they were being recorded on surveillance video. When they realized the jig is up, they are seen grabbing the camera off its mount.
“Just take the whole (expletive) thing,” one of the intruders is heard saying.
“I’m throwing it into the water. Don’t worry,” another says.
And he did, into a nearby pond on the property.
The men probably thought they got away with it, that they’d never be discovered.
“Oh, they definitely thought they got away with it,” Bendicksen said.
Police are looking for a group of men captured on surveillance video harassing animals after breaking into a Smithtown, N.Y. nature center back in February. (Photo: Smithtown Public Safety Department)
They were wrong.
Authorities said during a routine inspection of the water quality in the pond last week a volunteer discovered the water-logged surveillance camera and was able recover video from a corroded memory card.
The suspects’ secret was out.
“Now I think they’re going to be pretty shocked when their faces come up on the news,” Bendicksen said.
Officials are now working to identify the suspects, including the two men captured clearly on camera. All of them could face charges, including animal cruelty and criminal mischief.
The director of the nature center told Rapoport the surveillance video was concerning enough, but she wonders what else the suspects may have done that they didn’t see.
Police urge anyone with information to call the Department of Public Safety at 631-360-7553.