The Oregonian reported today that a Gresham, Ore. man accused of fatally slashing a cat's throat was arraigned today on allegations of first degree aggravated animal abuse and first degree criminal mischief. Frederick Wagner, 27, allegedly slashed the throat of his mother's 16-year-old cat, Tom, when he became angry with his mother.
Wagner was arrested on Monday at 11:15 a.m. at his mother's home in the 470 block of N.E. 18th St. in Gresham and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center three hours later. Court records state that Wagner's mother told police that her son trashed her home and killed her senior tabby cat. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court today, she stated that her son went into a rage after she informed him that he needed to move out.
The mother told police that the rampage occurred while she was out of the home, and when she returned, she found her house in disarray and her cat, Tom, dead in her bedroom. The affidavit states that she found Wagner sitting on a tipped over couch and playing video games.
According to Gresham police, when Wagner's mother asked her son if he had killed her cat, he said: "I sure did."
The affidavit said that Wagner killed Tom because his mother had "touched" his belongings.
Oregon police stated that Wagner's mom had taken Tom in last October after her father had passed away.
Wagner has lived with his mother for six years and according to the affidavit, his mother stated that he has exhibited animal abuse in the past, intentionally tipping over food and water bowls for the cat and for his mother's birds.
Wagner was held Monday night at the Multnomah County Detention Center on $10,000 bail.
According to Oregon State Law 167.320 animal abuse in the first degree:
(1) A person commits the crime of animal abuse in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized by law, the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
(a) Causes serious physical injury to an animal; or
(b) Cruelly causes the death of an animal.
(2) Any practice of good animal husbandry is not a violation of this section.
(3) Animal abuse in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there is a clear connection between animal cruelty and human violence. Numerous studies have shown links between animal abuse and human abuse. According to a 2001-2004 study conducted by the Chicago Police Department, there was a "startling propensity for offenders charged with crimes against animals to commit other violent offenses toward human victims." Of those who had been arrested for animal abuse crimes, 65% had been arrested for battery against another person.
Of 36 convicted multiple murderers in one study, 46% admitted to committing acts of animal torture as adolescents. Of seven school shootings that took place across the country between 1997 and 2001, all involved boys who had previously committed acts of animal cruelty.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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