CHARDON, Ohio (WJW) — A grand jury will soon decide if a Geauga County man should face a felony animal cruelty charge after prosecutors say he purposely ran over and killed his pet cat.

Chardon Municipal Court Judge Terri Stupica ruled Wednesday that Hayyal Ighneim’s case should be bound over to the grand jury.

Ighneim, of Chesterland, and his attorney Kenneth Myers were in court for a preliminary hearing.

Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz said Ighneim was caught on video on Aug. 1, after he drove to a school in Chardon with his cat. Flaiz played the video in court and it showed the defendant get out of the SUV and walk to the back of the vehicle. He opens the hatch. The cat got out of the back of the SUV and went under the vehicle. Ighneim got back inside the SUV, runs over the cat, then drives in reverse, striking the cat again and then again, before he leaves.

WJW photo

Ighneim told the I-Team he did not mean to kill the cat.

“This whole thing is a giant tragedy, a huge misunderstanding,” Ighneim said. He said the cat was 15 years old and sick. He thought the cat would run off in the woods.

“Unfortunately, she ran under my back tire,” Ighneim said. “When I saw she was twitching in pain. I was devastated and didn’t have another means of euthanasia.”

We asked why he didn’t seek medical help for his pet cat after he ran over her the first time.

“That was my mistake,” Ighneim said. “Every second I had her in my hands or in the truck would have prolonged her suffering.”

Amy Beichler, executive director of PAWS Ohio, was in court Wednesday and said she will be watching the case closely.

“Do the humane thing and take it to the vet and have it humanely euthanized,” Beichler said. “Give your pet death with dignity. This on this tape is not. This is death with torture.”