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Wednesday, May 14, 2003County: Johnston
Disposition: Failed to Appear
Case Images: 1 files available
Person of Interest: Jeremy Wayne Hodge
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A Smithfield man who allegedly threw a 7-week-old kitten against a tree, reportedly breaking the animal's leg, is facing animal cruelty charges, according to Benson Police. Jeremy Wayne Hodge, 23, of 3224 Stevens Sausage Road will be issued a criminal summons for misdemeanor animal cruelty, according to Det. Randy Beasley.
A criminal summons means Mr. Hodge will not be arrested, but must appear in court to face the charge of animal cruelty. Mr. Hodge also faces charges of making harassing phone calls to the woman who reported the abuse to police.
Pat Lynn of Benson said the gray-tabby kitten, named "Baby," belonged to her 9-year-old granddaughter. She said she got the cat for her granddaughter after seeing an ad for free kittens in the newspaper.
Ms. Lynn said the kitten had been taken to her neighbor, Martha Deese's home, by some neighborhood children. The suspect was visiting Ms. Deese, who lives on Moore Street, when he found the cat indoors, according to reports.
Mr. Hodge threw the kitten against a tree, breaking the kitten's leg and hip, according to Ms. Lynn. The kitten is at Ms. Lynn's daughter's house in the Meadow community, but has not been treated for its injury.
Officer Ronnie McLamb responded to the house and saw the kitten unable to stand on its left rear leg. Mr. McLamb reported the kitten cried when the leg was touched. Mr. McLamb interviewed Mr. Hodge, who admitted throwing the cat into the yard, but denied throwing it against a tree, according to reports.
Ms. Lynn said she did not have the money to pay for medical treatment for the kitten. Ms. Lynn's daughter Tiffany is keeping the animal. Tiffany Lynn said the kitten was scheduled for a 3 o'clock appointment at a veterinarian's office Saturday, but missed the appointment because it would not come out from under her mobile home.
The male kitten has since emerged from under Tiffany Lynn's trailer, but is still limping, apparently unable to put weight on its left rear leg. The kitten still manages to climb trees in the yard, however, Tiffany Lynn said. She said she can't afford to pay for medical treatment for the kitten and is hoping the leg will heal.
Pat Lynn said she was shocked that someone would throw the kitten against a tree. "I called the police because I just couldn't believe it," she said. "He (kitten) lay there crying and couldn't walk or get up or do anything."
Ms. Lynn said her granddaughter saw her kitten thrown against a tree and is traumatized. "If he (suspect) would do a little kitten like that, I sure wouldn't want him to be around a child," Ms. Lynn said.
Det. Beasley said the suspect denies throwing the kitten against a tree. "He said he took the cat and removed it from the house, but he said he didn't throw it against the tree," Det. Beasley said.
Tiffany Lynn said she is outraged at the abuse inflicted on the kitten. "I was so mad about it. I'm not an animal lover, but throwing a kitten against a tree isn't normal," she said. Police Chief Kenneth Edwards said he did not know why Mr. Hodge was not arrested at the scene, if the animal abuse was observed and confirmed at the scene.
|Mr. Hodge had a court date in Benson District Court Friday, but did not answer his call to appear. Judge Corbett set a $25,000 secured bond for Mr. Hodge.|
|Update posted on Oct 2, 2003 - 4:41AM|
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