New Bedford man accused of animal cruelty

Smudge the Cat

A New Bedford man is accused of hitting a cat with an aluminum baseball bat.

Manuel Erinna, 55, was charged with one count of animal cruelty. Police said the cat survived the Saturday attack, but lost an eye.

Police said a woman told them she was babysitting her granddaughter and that the cat accidentally scratched the girl.

Police said the woman was on the phone with her ex-boyfriend, who heard the girl crying and said he was "coming over to take care of the cat."

The woman said the man went into a bedroom and closed the door, and then heard a loud banging.

The woman found the injured cat after the man fled. Animal control officers took the cat to a vet for treatment.

Erinna was arrested at his home Saturday night.