Roark Xanthos, 18, is accused of lighting a turtle on...

Roark Xanthos, 18, is accused of lighting a turtle on fire. Credit: Handout

Two teens were charged with animal cruelty after they doused a 12-pound snapping turtle with gasoline, set it on fire and stabbed and killed it with a metal pole, police said.

Roark Xanthos and Thomas Gorman, both 18, later went to a party in Yaphank and bragged about what they'd done, Suffolk police said.

Xanthos and Gorman found the turtle on the side of the road in Bellport early May 22, said Sgt. Bryan McMenemy of the Suffolk Police Fifth Squad.

They put it in a plastic milk crate and went to the home of a friend, knocking on his window and asking him if he wanted it, McMenemy said. "It was a very large turtle," McMenemy said.

The friend said no and to go away, McMenemy said.

When the friend and his family left their house, Xanthos and Gorman returned with the turtle around 9:30 a.m., police said.

The teens placed the turtle in a makeshift fire pit they made with rocks from the yard, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire, police said in a release.

After burning the turtle, the teens killed it by stabbing it through its shell with a long metal pole, police said.

The family came home and called police when they found the turtle's carcass.

"It was probably two kids bored, don't have anything better to do," McMenemy said. "It's horrible."

Detectives charged Xanthos, of 20 Bellview Ave., Bellport, and Gorman, of 320 Bayview Ave., East Patchogue, with animal cruelty and third-degree criminal trespass, both misdemeanors. Each charge is punishable by up to a year in jail.

Xanthos was arrested Friday and Gorman on Saturday. The two were arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip.

A necropsy performed on the turtle by a veterinarian showed it was a female but could not determine its age.

The necropsy also showed that plastic was melted over its body. "I'm thinking they left it in the milk crate," McMenemy said.

"It's just so cruel," he said. "There's no reason for this."

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