Man Accused of Torturing Rodents, Posting Videos to YouTube

"I literally work in garbage. If I see a rat, I catch it," Michael Semens told judge

A Chicago man faces animal cruelty charges after prosecutors said he posted video to YouTube showing him torturing and killing a rat and a mouse.

Judge Donald Panarese Jr. on Saturday allowed Michael Semens, 24, to be released on a $10,000 individual recognizance bond. Semens must remain on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial.

Semens allegedly posted one video showing him cutting off a portion of a live rat’s tail and later cut off both of the rat’s ears with surgical scissors, according to a police report.

A second video showed Semens using a Taser on a live mouse on a glue trap until it was dead, police said.

When police arrested him Friday, he told police, "I know I messed up. I shouldn’t have done it," according to a police report.

Before setting the bond, Panarese asked Semens what he did for a living.

"I literally work in garbage. If I see a rat, I catch it," Semens said.

Semens, of the 2100 block of West 22nd Place, has no criminal history. Upon his arrest, he told police the nine-volt Taser used in the video was in his girlfriend’s purse.

Contact Us