Rice lake man charged with arson, mistreatment of animals and disorderly conduct

RICE LAKE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A Rice Lake man has been charged with arson of a building, mistreating animals and disorderly conduct.

According to a Barron County criminal complaint, 37-year-old Eric Thorson of Rice Lake was out of control and had started a fire.

Thorson was reported taking kittens out of his apartment and throwing them at the concrete ground, claiming he wanted to kill them all.

Officials say, while the kittens were being collected, Thorson went back into his apartment, balled up newspaper, lit it on fire and then walked out and watched the house.

Barron County Deputy Storberg administered a preliminary breath test on Thorson, which resulted in a .316, almost four times the legal limit.

This happened Thursday around 4 p.m. in Rice Lake.

Deputy Storberg noted that none of the cats were injured.

Thorson is out on a $5,000 signature bond. His next court date is July 22.