A man accused of animal abuse that led to the starvation death of a pig, said he’s a victim of identity theft, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Gwinnett County police told Channel 2 that a caller found three pigs in the back of a trailer, and they were malnourished and skinny.
The smallest pig died from malnutrition just a few hours afterwards, and police said the trailer belonged to Montressa Cunningham, Channel 2 reported.
His given address, police said, was to a multi-million dollar mansion in Buckhead, the news station reported. Police said Cunningham told them he owned the pigs, but he had just picked them up from “an old guy” and was taking them to a Barrow County farm.
“It’s obviously suspicious,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Wilbert Rundles told Channel 2.
Cunningham faces an aggravated animal cruelty charge, and he told Channel 2 a friend stole his license plate, impersonated him on the phone with police and was the true owner of the pigs.
He also said the records linking him to the mansion on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead and online profiles of him claiming he was an actor at Tyler Perry Studios are fake and stem from someone stealing his identity in 2015, Channel 2 reported. Tyler Perry Studios told the news station he never worked for them.
Atlanta police confirmed Cunningham filed a police report in 2015 about a theft of documents, but Gwinnett police remain suspicious.
“We haven’t found anything to find that it’s legit,” Rundles said.
Someone claiming to be Cunningham’s friend, the one who allegedly owns the pigs, also texted Channel 2 and said he would go to court with Cunningham to take responsibility. However, Gwinnett police said Cunningham hasn’t contacted them to clear up the situation.
The two surviving pigs are now in foster care, the news station reported.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.