FARGO, N.D.(Valley News Live) - A whistleblower sent Valley News Live a graphic picture of a dead cat hanging on the grill of a truck in Detroit Lakes and telling us the Sheriff's Department had been investigating the death of the animal. Valley News Live went to check it out and things took a scary turn. Rose Itzcovitz tells the story.
We can't show you the whole picture, but a whistleblower's email showing a graphic image of a dead cat hanging from the grill of a Detroit Lakes man’s truck is disturbing.
The man didn't answer. But a few minutes later, he came out—with knife in hand.
"I said I'm gonna slit that cat's throat, put it upside down on the grill of that truck," the man, who we’re not identifying at this time, said Itzcovitz.
The man tried to grab one of three kittens I saw in his yard.
"Please," I said.
"Please what?" the man replied.
“Please do not do this,” I said.
My camera was rolling.
“Well then, please record me some more," he said.
That's when I called the Becker County sheriff. Officials arrived on scene minutes later.
I had just spoken with Sheriff Todd Glander about an hour earlier.
"The Sheriff's Office received a report Tuesday of somebody that had killed a cat and hung it from their vehicle," Glander said.
The sheriff, saying it's an ongoing investigation, couldn't give many details.
"It is disturbing. Like anything, I don't understand why somebody would do this," he said.
But the sheriff’s call records show: the department’s visit on Tuesday involving the dead cat was actually their second visit that day.
Just hours earlier, records indicate a domestic disturbance between the same man and his wife.
Some of the man's threats he made to me about the cat would explain that.
"Why would you do that?" I asked the man about his threats.
"Because my wife isn't here. I said everyday she's gone, another cat gets it,” he said.
Officials eventually cleared the scene, saying since the man didn't directly threaten me—and technically has the right to wield a knife on his own property—they couldn't charge him with anything. But, we looked into this man's records and found a long list of offenses; most involving traffic crimes, but also a third degree assault as well as some drug charges and a DWI.
The sheriff tells us there are specific laws against maiming animals—they fall under Minnesota Statute 343.21. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be handed to the county attorney who will then decide on appropriate charges.
We'll continue to update you as the investigation continues.