Police: Man rips heads off 20 chickens in drunken, jealous rage

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MILFORD, Conn. (CBS) -- Police say a Connecticut man killed 20 chickens and ripped their heads from their bodies in a drunken, jealous rage on Christmas.

Milford police Officer Michael DeVito tells the Hartford Courant that 28-year-old Gregory Ulrich was drinking with a friend when he saw social media pictures of his wife with other people.

DeVito says the man became furious and told his friend to drive to the homes of the people with his wife.

"Ulrich was highly intoxicated and was in a jealous rage," DeVito told the paper.

Police said the friend, 21-year-old John Budnovitch, drove as he and Ulrich smashed the windows on several cars, reportedly with an ax.

DeVito told the Courant the cars belonged to the people with whom he was angry, and said at one point Ulrich leaned out of the car Budnovitch was driving to vandalize one of the vehicles.

Ulrich then stole the chickens from two properties, police say. Ulrich allegedly killed the animals with his "bare hands" by smashing their heads and pulling their heads from their bodies as Budnovitch watched, the paper reports.

In a tweet, Milford police called the crime "gruesome."

Some of the chickens' heads were left lying around the owners' property, the paper reports. Ulrich allegedly put them in a bag, claiming he would boil them and eat them, DeVito told the paper.

DeVito told the paper investigators checked on Ulrich's wife, but found no signs that Ulrich had been violent with her or intended to hurt her.

Ulrich and Budnovitch, both of Milford, were arrested Wednesday and charged with multiple counts, including animal cruelty, criminal mischief and larceny. Ulrich reportedly posted a $15,000 bail and Budnovitch posted a $5,000 bail.

They are due back in court Jan. 30.