LYNN — Ward 1 City Councilor Wayne Lozzi’s motion to dismiss an animal cruelty charge will be heard April 20 in Lynn District Court.
Lozzi’s attorney William O’Hare filed a motion to dismiss the case before Judge James LaMothe on Thursday morning during Lozzi’s pre-trial hearing at Lynn District Court.
The Commonwealth charged Lozzi with animal cruelty after he allegedly kicked a cat on his back porch this fall.
Lozzi, in an interview Thursday afternoon, said that his attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case under the grounds that the councilor’s actions did not meet the criteria necessary to be considered animal cruelty.
“I’m glad that it came to this point, and I’m confident that I’ll be exonerated,” Lozzi said.
Home security camera footage of Lozzi walking to his back porch and kicking a cat circulated on social media in October after his son Zachary posted it on Instagram. The footage shows a cat chasing Lozzi’s cat, Marjorie, on his back porch.
Lozzi, in his underwear, steps out of the house and kicks the cat that was chasing Marjorie through the air, before it bounces off of the porch railing and lands near the corner rail.
On Jan. 11, Lt. Cristine Speranza of the Lynn Police Department filed a criminal complaint against Lozzi for animal cruelty, alleging that Lozzi “cruelly beat” the cat.
During a police investigation Lozzi’s son, also named Wayne, described a history of animal abuse to the police. He alleged that his father made him “snuff out” kittens when they were too many in a litter, and once beat the family dog Bud until he urinated.
Last month, Lozzi denied his son’s allegations, saying that he believed they were retaliatory in nature. He said that a year prior to the video’s release, he filed a restraining order against his son that expired shortly before the video was released.
Judge SallyAnn Janulevicus released Lozzi with a $1,000 personal surety, under the condition that Lozzi surrender any pets under his custody and steer clear of any legal trouble, at his arraignment hearing Feb. 24.
At Lozzi’s arraignment, O’Hare argued that Lozzi kicked the cat to keep it away from his pet, who he believed was being attacked.
“He’s in his underwear early in the morning,” O’Hare said in the arraignment hearing. “His cat’s out there, a stray cat comes up off the deck and with his bare foot, he kicks it away from his cat and says, ‘Get out of here.’”
In Massachusetts, animal cruelty is a felony charge that carries penalties ranging from a $5,000 fine to seven years in state prison.
O’Hare could not be reached immediately for comment.