Weather Updates

Prosecutor: Chicago man tortured, killed rodents, posted the videos to YouTube

Michael Semens | phofrom Chicago Police

Michael Semens | photo from Chicago Police

storyidforme: 61468287
tmspicid: 22222294
fileheaderid: 10556865

Updated: March 3, 2014 5:54PM

A Chicago man accused of torturing and killing a mouse and a rat and posting the acts on YouTube told a Cook County judge Saturday he works in “garbage” and often collects rodents.

Michael Semens, 24, allegedly posted one video showing himself cutting off a portion of a live rat’s tail and later cutting off both the rat’s ears with surgical scissors, according to a police report.

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

The police said that when they arrested him Friday, Semens told officers: “I know I messed up. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Judge Donald Panarese Jr. allowed Semens to be released on a $10,000 individual recognizance bond but said he must remain on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial on charges of animal torture and animal cruelty.

Before setting bail, the judge asked Semens what he did for a living.

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



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.