TOOELE — A man charged with aggravated animal abuse for allegedly eating a live baby rat and posting a video of it on the Internet made a brief court appearance Tuesday.
Andy Ray Harris, 31, is charged in Tooele's 3rd District Court with aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor.
During a brief hearing before Judge Robert Adkins on Tuesday, Harris pleaded not guilty to the charge. His attorney then asked for more time to explore a couple of motions he was considering. A pretrial conference was scheduled for July 19.
Outside the courtroom, the heavily tattooed Harris, and his mother, had no comment for the media. Harris' attorney also left through a back door and did not speak to the press.
On March 16, Harris allegedly ate a live, hairless baby rat on a dare. The rat was allegedly set to be fed to a pet snake. A video of Harris' eating the rat was later posted on the Internet.
The video shows a small rat, about 2 to 3 inches long, on a notepad. Harris then picks up the rat, puts it in his mouth, chews, and then take a drink from a straw out of a giant mug. He then high-fives someone off camera.
The video was spotted by a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a link was forwarded to the Tooele City Attorney's Office.