Police Abuse

Cop Shoots Barely Injured Cat He Says Was a Threat

DA declined to press misdemeanor charges.

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family photo

A police officer in North Catasauqua, Pa., responded to a 911 call about an injured cat, Sugar, by finding the feline and fatally shooting it.

The local district attorney, John Morganelli, told a news conference that the officer, Leighton Pursell, said he saw injuries on the cat's leg and a trail of blood before deciding to kill the cat, as my9nj.com reports.

"Officer Pursell made a decision to, in his judgment, humanely end the cat's life and suffering," Morganelli said. "Officer Pursell fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver, instantly killing the cat."

A subsequent autopsy reportedly find little injury to the cat aside from the fatal gunshot wound. The officer was given a "summary citation," which 9nj.com described as the equivalent of a parking ticket.

Morganelli said he decided not to file misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against the officer because he "did not find Officer Pursell acted with any malice or maliciously," insisting it was a "tough call" to make.

Pursell's attorney, Gary Asteak, told Lehigh Valley Live he would fight the citation.

Purcell "came upon an attack in violation of the borough ordinance with an animal that had no tags, no sign of ownership, was injured," according to the attorney, who said Pursell followed borough regulations. An attorney for Sugar's owner insists Pursell did not follow the local law, which he says requires two other people to agree the severity of injury to an animal is cause to kill it.

Purcell's attorney also argues Purcell considered the cat a threat. "He viewed the animal as injured, snarling and a threat to public safety on a private property owner's property who wanted it gone," Asteak said. "He had no choice but do what he did under his code of conduct."

h/t Brochettaward

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  1. #catlivesmatter

    1. #blackcatlivesmatter

      1. “Paws up, don’t shoot!”

  2. You have to watch out for bleeding cats with life threatening injuries. They are incredibly dangerous. You underestimate them at your peril!

  3. See?! The “cops shoot dogs” is such a stereotype!

  4. private property owner’s property who wanted it gone,”

    Gone doesn’t have to mean dead.

    1. I’m sure the property owner was THRILLED to discover all the cat blood splattered about his property.

  5. Fuck Officer Pursell, yo. Or Purcell, whatever. I hope he gets eaten alive by rats.

    SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK DISCLAIMER: This does not constitute a threat to feed any police officer, current or former, to rats.

    1. That reminds me.

      Erewhay oday eway ipshay ethay illyay-emperedtay easelsway?

      1. North Catasauqua Pennsylvania, brah. Care of the police department.

        It does seem sort of like a sick joke that this animal was executed by Officer Pursell of the North Catasauqua PD…

      2. Those are members of the carnivore order, dammit, not rodents.

    2. Actually, since he shot a cat the preferred hope is that he dies from the Black Plague.

  6. “Officer Pursell fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver

    Wait… there are departments out there that still issue .38s?

    1. “Officer Pursell fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver”

      No, no, no! Active voice must never be used when reporting on police actions. The sentence should be written as, “A single shot was fired from the department-issued .38 caliber service revolver.”

      This then gives Pursell plausible deniability. If the death is found to be wrongful, Pursell can deny responsibility. Maybe the gun went off due a malfunction, or a nervous tic of a finger, or maybe there had been reports of poltergeist activity in the area, who can say for sure?

      Also, the report forgot to mention that the injured cat made a furtive movement or that Pursell felt threatened.

      1. further edit: “A single round was discharged….”

  7. Where’s Animal Control? They have nets and other high-tech stuff to catch animals alive.

    1. Well, Animal control responds when you call animal control.

      Some dipshit called 911.

      1. True.

        But dipshits also call 911 when someone in their family is feeling suicidal, and the cops promptly show up and comply with the suicidal person’s wishes.

        At some point, shouldn’t 911 operators be empowered to forward calls to Animal Control when the call is about a stray animal, or maybe the EMTs when the call is about a suicide?

        It seems like it’s only a matter of time before we hear about cops putting a few bullets in the chest of someone having a heart attack, or shooting the occupants of a burning building — because people also call 911 in those kids of circumstances.

  8. “Oh, wait, I’m supposed to he shooting the shit and eating pussy, not the other way around.”

    …is the kind of horrible joke you heathens would tell.

    1. Eating pussy? …He’s a cannibal?

    2. No see Officer Purcell suffers from premature discharge, at the mere sight of a pussy his gun becomes engorged and discharges all on it’s own

  9. An attorney for Sugar’s owner insists Pursell did not follow the local law, which he says requires two other people to agree the severity of injury to an animal is cause to kill it.

    Silly attorney. Cops don’t have to follow the law. They are the law.

    1. +1 reasonable mistake

  10. He was probably just pissed off and getting revenge because this is the first pussy he’s seen in months

    1. I’m sure he’s seen his colleagues more recently than that.

      /doubledipping

    2. That’s his own fault. All he needs to do is request to be temporarily assigned to the massage parlor detail.

      But only because he is a truly dedicated officer who is hellbent on putting a stop to all that awful human trafficking, of course.

  11. An attorney for Sugar’s owner insists Pursell did not follow the local law, which he says requires two other people to agree the severity of injury to an animal is cause to kill it.

    IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO DEFENSE!*

    * Unless you’re an agent of the state. Then it’s totally a defense.

  12. I hear his wife is a cougar.

    1. Paging Swiss

  13. Purcell’s attorney also argues Purcell considered the cat a threat. “He viewed the animal as injured, snarling and a threat to public safety on a private property owner’s property who wanted it gone,” Asteak said. “He had no choice but do what he did under his code of conduct.”

    Orange tabby. I’ve owned an orange tabby, and there’s a reason Orange tabbies are so widely used in movies and commercials. They’re docile as shit.

    1. I don’t know if this is an Orange tabby or not, but it’s suspicious that it showed up in Northern Ireland.

      1. It might be a cat-holic.

    2. Seriously? Every orange tabby I’ve had was evil. Last one was named Ginger for a reason, and we brought it to the shelter when my wife got pregnant. We feared it would kill the baby. I’m not shitting you, that cat was fucking evil.

      1. My guess is you had an aberration, or possibly one that was actually mentally ill.

        Orange tabbies are generally considered very docile, friendly and easy going. Every orange tabby I’ve owned or been around were great family cats, relaxed, super-lazy (sometimes overweight) never nervous or jumpy and genuinely like people. If you look at all the cinema where a cat figures prominently, very often an orange tabby. I’ve always stipulated it was no accident that Morris in the old cat food commercials was a tabby. They’re literally the kind of cat that can sit, relaxed while an entire crew of camera men, gaffers, directors, makeup and lighting scurry around a set setting up for a shot. There are vanishingly few cats that will abide that. Remember Jonesey in the movie Aliens? Orange tabby.

      2. If you think your orange baby is easy-going, you’re not alone. In the early 20th century, George Ware, the owner of a cat boarding center, formed his own theory of color and temperament and described ginger tabbies as “big softies and laid back to the point of laziness. Like being stroked, but dislike being picked up and cuddled.” A 1973 book published by Pedigree Foods described ginger tabbies as “quiet, docile and affectionate.” In a recent study at the University of California, cat owners were asked to attribute personality traits to their cats. Orange cats were most often characterized as friendly. Another stereotype is media-driven ? Garfield is irascible, and Morris is aloof and finicky. These traits actually might have a basis in fact. The gene for ginger is linked to gender, and about three out of four ginger cats are males. Any intact male will exhibit certain behaviors, including roaming and less interest in hunting. However, rest assured that if your ginger tabby is loved and socialized, he will in turn be a loving, affectionate kitty.

        http://pets.thenest.com/ginger…..10180.html

        1. Docile or not, cats are jealous of new babies and try to smother them when they get the chance. Right call getting rid of the cat.

    3. Doesn’t even really matter – its a housecat.

      Sure, a housecat would torture you to death in a heartbeat if it could, but it can’t, because unlike dogs, cats will not come at you like a whirling dervish, all claws and elbows, because you locked eyes with them. Stay out of claw swipe range and they’ll just make annoying noises at you.

      1. I’ve had cats that would attack people. Not life-threatening* my any means, but they would attack.

        *Not immediately life-threatening. Years ago I was bit by a cat, and a tooth hit a bone in my finger. Oral antibiotics were ineffective against the infection. They had to put me on an IV before they were able to stop it. I could have lost my hand, or worse.

        1. My parent’s cat will go out of his way to take a swipe at you. Again, he’s not going to do anything life threatening, but man, those scratches itch like hell afterwards…

          1. I did not say ‘will not attack you’, I said ‘will not come at you like a whirling dervish, all claws and elbows’.

            Both of you got into your situation, I would bet, by *moving yourself* to within hand’s reach of the cat, not the cat running up to you to attack (like a dog will do).

  14. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.worknow88.com

  15. I’m a cat person. This makes me sad. It’s also very confusing.

    1. I’m a cat person. This makes me sad. It’s also very confusing.

      Here, this should cheer you up

      [Gilmore starts shining his laser pointer against the wall while LynchPin1477 jumps frantically at it]

      1. GILMORE finds himself as the subject of a front page article where SKW’s scream bloody murder because they think he’s ‘bullying’ LynchPin with the laser and that its horrible that he’s letting LynchPin put himself in a position where he may, possibly, it could happen, hurt himself jumping after it.

  16. can I get a hard copy of this “code of conduct” Purcell was obligated to follow ? I really want to read the part that gave him no choice but to shoot the cat.

  17. What did the two injured cats say to each other?

    Meowch.

  18. “did not find Officer Pursell acted with any malice or maliciously,”

    Get a load of the big vocabulary on DA Morganelli

    1. Translation: Did not want the city on the hook for damages and then having to fight with the Pussy-Killer’s Union.

  19. responded to a 911 call about an injured cat, Sugar, by finding the feline and fatally shooting it.

    Once could say that we’re now Sugar-free.

    1. one*

  20. Pours out jumbo bag of Temptations. RIP Sugar.

  21. “He viewed the animal as injured, snarling and a threat to public safety on a private property owner’s property who wanted it gone,” Asteak said. “He had no choice but do what he did under his code of conduct.”

    Well, I guess the hobos should be especially wary when sleeping in doorways if they have a visible injury.

    And the ending of that statement is weird – under ‘his’ code of conduct? I didn’t think we got to implement private legal regimes in this country.

    1. ‘We’ don’t, unless ‘we’ got that shiny, shiny badge.

  22. This is outrageous! I can’t believe that this is yet another case of the police murdering a do-

    Oh, wait, it was a cat? This guy was just doing the Lord’s work, then.

    1. Go fuck yourself, buddy.

  23. I hope Pursell’s proud of himself.

  24. I found an injured cat on my property. It was snarling and displeased. Rather than get my 9mm and fucking shoot it, I got my work gloves, picked up the cat, took it inside, wiped it down to see what was wrong, saw it was just some scratches, gave it a can of tuna and some water, and then called a friend who likes cats. She came over and got it.

    I guess I’m just operating on the wrong code of conduct.

    1. This comment is excellent.

  25. Perhaps it was really the Black Beast of Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh?

  26. Perhaps it was really the Black Beast of Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh?

  27. Perhaps it was really the Black Beast of Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh?

    1. Now, was this comment funny enough to hit refresh three times to ensure it went through?

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  28. I’m not sure what is worse…. that he didn’t shoot it out of any real or even perceived need…. that his attorney still tried to throw that “threat” BS on the end of it… or that this twit probably slept well that night, feeling he did the “merciful” thing.

    just goes to show… cops have no concept of what the rest of us mean when we use words like compassion, mercy, and morals.

  29. The cop is a pussy.

  30. Wait a minute, my cognizance is disonating:

    First he claimed the cat was so badly injured he had to do a mercy shooting.

    Then his lawyer claimed the cat was so active it was a serious threat to the officer and the public in general.

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