A Galloway Township man will be spending the next several years behind bars for two separate incidents, one where he pointed a gun at a man and another where he tortured his girlfriend's cat.

30-year-old Michael Ciarla of Pleasantville was sentenced to a total of four years in prison -- one year without parole on a fourth-degree aggravated assault charge and three years for third-degree cruelty to animals via torture resulting in a death.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office says on October 20, 2021, Ciarla was charged with aggravated assault after brandishing a .177-caliber BB gun, which was a replica of a .44 caliber revolver handgun, at a man in Absecon.

  • Editor's note: some of the details regarding the animal cruelty case may be disturbing.

Ciarla placed the gun directly to the back of the victim's head and cocked the gun after the victim tried to walk away from Ciarla. He then fled the scene but was later apprehended after a standoff with police.

Less than a month later on November 21st of that year, Ciarla was charged with animal cruelty after a cat with numerous broken bones was brought to Absecon Veterinary Hospital.

The cat, which belonged to Ciarla's girlfriend, had to be humanely euthanized as all of its limbs were broken beyond repair or treatment. Ciarla admitted in his plea that he intentionally slammed the door on the cat multiple times.

Ciarla asked the sentencing court to either reduce the sentences or order both sentences to run concurrent rather than consecutive. A judge denied those requests.

This case was jointly investigated by the Galloway Township Police Department's Humane Law Enforcement Officers and the Humane Law Enforcement Unit of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

A walk around the closed Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City

The Atlantic Club closed in January 2014 and not much has happened there since.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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