New Britain man gets 120 days in prison after killing pet fish in Bristol

Published on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 21:44


BRISTOL - A New Britain man has been sentenced to 120 days in prison after killing a pet fish during a domestic dispute in Bristol.

Juan Vega, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree breach of peace during a hearing Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court. In exchange for the plea, which was part of a deal offered by a state prosecutor, one count of cruelty to animals was dropped.

Vega’s sentence included serving 120 days in prison and no probation. Ronald Dearstyne, the prosecutor, said Vega’s parole being violated as a result of the arrest weighed into the sentence he offered.

Vega’s criminal history includes convictions of drug sales, Dearstyne said.

According to the police report in the Bristol arrest, officers responded on April 27, at about 8:40 p.m., to a local home on the report of a domestic disturbance. The victim, who was not identified, said Vega, her boyfriend, showed up at her home unannounced and began arguing with her. 

During the dispute, police said, Vega told the woman he would gather his belongings and leave. He then pushed her and kicked a TV, breaking it, according to the report. 

According to the report, Vega then gathered his belongings and left. But when the victim went through the house later, she found other items damaged, including a living room TV, she told police. 

When an officer spoke to the victim's child, a 9-year-old, he said he noticed the family's beta fish had been cut in half. 

Police said they then spoke to Vega in New Britain, where he admitted to damaging property at the victim's home and killing the fish.

“It really did traumatize the 9-year-old,” Dearstyne said Tuesday.

The prosecutor added that the victim did not seek a conviction in the case and wants Vega to get help with his issues.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 21:44. Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2017 21:46.