Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4680
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: cat
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Thursday, Feb 8, 2001

County: Riverside

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged:
» Travis Shotwell
» Alfonso Paz
» Daniel Loo
» Brandon Wallace
» Flynn Sizemore
» Name Undisclosed
» Name Undisclosed
» Name Undisclosed

Eight teenagers have been charged with hate crimes in connection with an incident of a cat nailed to a makeshift cross and placed in front of the Crossroads Christian Church.

Travis Shotwell, 18, faces felony hate-crime charges. The rest of the teens are charged with misdemeanors. Shotwell was being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center.

The other teens are: Alfonso Paz, 19; Daniel Loo, 18; Brandon Wallace, 19; Flynn Sizemore, 18; two 17-year old boys and a 17-year old girl. They were cited and released.

A youth ministry student found the homemade cross with the dead crucified cat on it leaning against the main sign of the Crossroads Christian Church on Feb 8.

The group of teens was described by officials as being anti-religious and anti-Christian, but not Satanist. They all seemed to be unaffected by the seriousness of what they had done. "During questioning, in fact, when several of the kids were shown pictures of the cat, they laughed."

Shotwell faces more severe charges because it was clear he had organized the incident and was responsible for nailing the cat to the cross.

In a search of his home the skeletons of small animals was found. Police confiscated writings and drawings but no weapons.

Prosecutors said Shotwell got the cat but they weren't able to determine if the cat was already dead or if he killed it.

Shotwell built a cross in his yard and nailed the cat to it. He and his friends then allegedly put the sign on the cross and took it to the church. Shotwell said the church was selected to make a statement against its beliefs.

If Shotwell is found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison. "We think he is clearly a danger to society. His writings and drawing indicate deep-seated problems with clear threats of violence." At least one poem found by police was written about the crucified cat incident.

References

  • The Press Enterprise, Riverside, CA - Mar 11, 2001

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