By TimesLedger Staff
EAST ELMHURST — A 50-year-old Queens woman convicted earlier this year of animal cruelty and sentenced to three years’ probation has been charged with attempting to push a probation officer down a flight of stairs earlier this week during a visit at her Jackson Heights home, according to the Queens district attorney.
Elizabeth Grant, 50, of 82nd Street in East Elmhurst, was also charged with hoarding animals, including cats and dogs, in violation of the terms of her probation and with failing to provide them with adequate care, DA Richard Brown said.
“The defendant is accused of showing contempt for the law by hoarding animals in violation of the terms of her court-ordered probation and contempt for human life by assaulting and attempting to push her probation officer down a flight of stairs,” he said. “Such behavior cannot – and will not – be condoned.”
Grant was arraigned Aug. 30 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant on a criminal complaint charging her with attempted assault of a police officer, attempted assault as a hate crime, failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animals, criminal contempt and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, according to the DA’s office.
Grant was ordered held on $100,000 bond/$75,000 cash bail and was scheduled to return to court Sept. 14.
According to the charges, a city Department of Probation supervising officer made an unannounced visit to Grant’s home early on the morning of Aug. 29 as part of her probation sentence imposed in April. When Grant’s mother opened the door, the supervising officer smelled a foul odor emanating from inside.
Once inside the residence, the supervising officer was approached by Grant, who was allegedly very combative and said, “You can’t come in here, you don’t have a warrant, my case is on appeal, You can’t do this to me, I didn’t sign the conditions of probation,” along with uttering derogatory sexual and racial remarks about the officer, according to the complaint.
The supervising officer used her cellphone to take photos of the numerous cats that she saw on the ground floor, some of which appeared to be underweight, according to the complaint. Grant then allegedly attempted to grab the supervising officer’s phone and prevent her from leaving the kitchen area by standing extremely close to her while saying, “Go ahead, punch me, push me, slap me.”
On the second floor of the home, the supervising officer found inside a bedroom numerous dogs that appeared to be underweight, according to the complaint.
When the supervising officer began walking back down the stairs, Grant, who was standing directly behind her, allegedly pushed against the officer’s back with both hands, causing the officer to trip and twist her back while attempting to hold onto the railing to prevent herself from falling, the complaint said. The officer suffered substantial pain, requiring her to seek treatment at a hospital.
Based on the supervising officer’s observations, a court-ordered search warrant was issued for NYPD and ASPCA officers, who encountered a strong smell of ammonia when they entered the premises.
The officers found the home to be crammed with numerous items and, although the temperature outside exceeded 90 degrees, there was no air flow or air conditioning in the residence. They also cited an excessive number of flies and said dogs were being kept in a cramped kitchen area, according to the DA’s office.
Officers recovered two turtles in dirty water inside an aquarium in the bathtub, seven dogs — including four adult dogs and three puppies — one cat, two rabbits, two guinea pigs and two Beta fish from inside the residence.
In March, Grant was found guilty at trial of 108 counts of animal cruelty, failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animals and was ordered to not own, harbor, or have custody or control of any animals for 10 years.
Among the conditions of Grants’ probation were that she receive mental health counseling and comply with unannounced visits for animal checks.
The court also ordered Grant to register with the New York City Department of Health as an animal abuser.
If convicted of the most recent charges, Grant faces up to seven years in prison.
— TimesLedger Staff