Sex offender accused of stomping rabbit to death

Mug shot of Austin Witek courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.
Mug shot of Austin Witek courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne man, who is also a registered sex offender, has been arrested after police say he stomped his family’s pet rabbit to death.  Police say 25-year-old Austin J. Witek killed the rabbit and thew it into the backyard after an argument with his fiancee.

According to a police report, an officer went to the home Friday shortly before 2 p.m.  When an officer walked up to the front door of the home in the 1300 block of High Street, three children were crying and screaming, “He killed my bunny!”

Police found Witek upstairs with a coat in his hand.  He was arrested.

Police also noticed that a large glass fish tank had been smashed.  Water from the fish tank leaked into the basement and destroyed several items.

Witek’s fiancee told police that the two live together in the home on High Street and have two children together.  She was in the hospital for a few days and was just released.  She came home to find the house destroyed.  She told police she confronted him about it and he got angry.  Police say the woman told them he has battered her several times in the past, and said that she has been sent to the hospital before because of his violence.

She asked Witek to leave the home until he calmed down and said, “I’ll just take the kids so you can be at home with  the animals.”  Apparently the comment sent him over the top.  She says he grabbed the children’s pet rabbit and stomped it to death in front of her and the kids.  He killed the rabbit and threw it into the backyard.  She then told police he smashed the side of the fish tank with a bottle of liquor that he was holding, breaking the tank.  Witek then tried to kill the fish by stomping on them.  Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control officers were able to save a few of the fish.

When she tried to call 911, Witek started swinging his hand at her trying to knock the phone out of her hand.

Witek told police that he was arguing with his fiancee and “snapped.”  He told police that he stepped on the rabbit and smashed the fish tank.  Witek told police he “shouldn’t have done it.”

Police also noted that food was lying around, rabbit droppings in the kitchen, and that the home was generally messy.  Officers passed this information along to the Department of Child Services for follow up.

Witek was arrested for Interfering with the Reporting of a Crime and Animal Cruelty.  He was taken to the hospital and apparently had not been taking his medication as his doctor required him to.  Police suspect he may have acted out as a result of mental illness.

His bond has been set at $3,250.  He’s being held on a 72-hour hold.  A judge has filed a no contact order.  Witek’s next hearing is set for Thursday.


History of Child Molesting

Austin J. Witek is a registered sex offender in Allen County.  He registered as an Offender Against Children in May of 2010.  Austin was convicted of Child Molesting in Whitley County back in January of 2007.

• Description: 35-42-4-3 – Child Molesting
• Date Convicted: 01/22/2007
• Conviction State: Indiana
• Release Date: 01/17/2008
• County of Conviction: Whitley
• Case Number: 92C01-0610-FC-159
• Sentence: 2YRS/1 YRS

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