Category: crime

Instagram-Famous Cat Killed, Owners Hurt In Park Attack

A famous cat is dead and his owners are looking for justice after a melee at a Brooklyn park on April 4.

Chanan Aksornnan, 34, was walking her cat Ponzu in Brooklyn’s McCarren park when a boy around 12 years old set off a chain of events that lead to the cat’s death and a subsequent melee that saw Aksornnan and her boyfriend jumped by the boy’s family.

Some reports say the boy “intentionally pulled on the leash,” while others say he tripped over Ponzu’s lead with such force that the famous feline was launched into the air. A Facebook post to a group called #JusticeForPonzu claims the boy “came from nowhere, dragged the leash using his body.”

What the accounts do agree on is three-year-old Ponzo hit the ground hard and lost all his claws. Aksornnan ran and scooped Ponzu up, but the terrified cat had a heart attack and died in her arms.

Greenpointers, a local Brooklyn blog, spoke with the victim:

“The family not only did not offer any apology nor remorse,” Chanan said. “They immediately began a verbal abuse which escalated into a physical assault. I got punched and kicked by three women.” Meanwhile, Chanan’s boyfriend was punched, his nose and glasses broke, and he required emergency surgery the following day.

The version portrayed by the #JusticeForPonzu Facebooker described the family as even more combative, with one of the boy’s relatives yelling “That’s what you get for walking your —ing cat, b—.”

Two women attack Ponzu’s owner moments after the cat died.

It’s not clear what happened next — and it looks like police are still trying to sort that out — but a video posted to Reddit shows Aksornnan on the ground, with a much larger woman on top of her and another attacking her from the side while bystanders tried to pry them off the victim.

As People notes:

In the video, a person who appears to be Aksornnan is swarmed by a group of screaming women, who can be heard telling her, “That’s why you got no kids.”

One of the bystanders who tried to help, a 50-year-old man, was punched in the face for his efforts, suffering a cut on his nose as a result as the attacker pushed her way out of the crowd and ran.

In a brief statement, the NYPD said they were looking for “an unknown Hispanic female,” about 5’7″ and 200 pounds.

Several social media posts are portraying the incident as an anti-Asian hate crime and complained that police haven’t made progress for more than two weeks despite witnesses and at least one recording of the assault. The police have remained tight-lipped and haven’t said much besides confirming they’re actively investigating, looking for the attacker and hoping to speak with more witnesses.

Bye, Buddy: Why I Got Rid Of My Cat

When I started Pain In The Bud, my goal wasn’t to celebrate cats or to express my love for my cat by sharing his quirks and amusing anecdotes about his allegedly adorable behavior.

I had one goal and one goal only: To make money. That’s why you see ads all over this site, and it’s why I’ve been relentlessly hawking certain pet products. The companies behind those products pay me big bucks!

Which brings us to our next bit of news. Since I’ve been writing about Buddy online, creating a fictionalized version of him that is delightful and loveable, and selecting only the best photos to make him look handsome and dashing, I’ve received several offers to buy him.

To be clear, the reason I didn’t sell him before was not because I was hesitant to part with him. He’s annoying AF, he’s a degenerate catnip addict and he never, ever shuts up.

The real reason? I was holding out for more money. The more I wrote about him, the more delightful and adorable he’d appear to readers, driving his price up. It’s kind of like a basketball team giving more playing time to a player on the trading block, pumping up his stats so he’ll command a higher price on the open market.

The Buddinese Tiger
A promotional image that was part of my dastardly campaign to drive up Buddy’s price in the recent bidding war. He is not a tiger.

So when the most recent offer came in last week, I felt I’d driven Buddy’s price up as high as it would go. A potential buyer in Somalia offered $20,000 for the little stinker! In the meantime, another interested party — a competitive table-setting champion from Skokie, Illinois — offered $22,000.

It was time for a bidding war!

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to report that Buddy has been sold to the Somali for $28,550. The lucky (or unlucky, really) bidder, a pirate who plunders the commercial shipping lanes off the coast of his native country, believed all the nonsense about Buddy being a fierce and powerful miniature tiger, and was in the market for a guard cat to help keep his booty safe.

They tell me there is no turkey where Buddy has gone, and he was very angry about that. Oh well. His new owner is also a neatness freak with OCD who vacuums his home six times a day, which I imagine does not sit well with Buddy, given his history with vacuum cleaners.

But who cares? I got almost 30 grand out of the deal! I’m going to buy a new Les Paul to replace the one “Buddy” (real name Jerkus Maximus) broke, my home is blissfully quiet, and I can sleep through the night without being woken by that infernal little tribble with a tail licking my face. Who in their right mind wants to be roused in the middle of the night by a purring cat? It’s absurd.

So it is with a not-so-heavy heart that I announce an end to Pain In The Bud. He really was a huge pain in the bud. Now he’s someone else’s pain in the bud. Huzzah!

P.S. With Buddy gone, I plan to refocus this blog on the wonderful world of Hummels and the extremely profitable Hummel resale market. Wanna buy the hottest Hummels at street prices? Hit me up.

Sad Buddy
Awww, so sad! Buddy has been exiled to Somalia!

Man Awakes With Robber Pointing Gun At His Head, Demanding His Cats

LAURIUM, Michigan — A Michigan man woke up at 4:15 am Wednesday to find another man standing over him, pointing a gun at his head and demanding the victim hand over his two cats.

The cat burglar — or cat robber, to be precise about it — got impatient, snatched one of the furballs and bolted from the home in Laurium, a town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about 220 miles north of Green Bay.

The victim, who knew the robber, called police and detectives caught up with the suspect later the same day. He’s a 52-year-old man who has been charged with home invasion and felonious assault, charges that could land him in prison for up to 20 years if he’s convicted. He was also in possession of a gun, which was seized by police.

Cops haven’t publicly released the name of the suspect, who was booked in Houghton County Jail, but said the incident wasn’t random.

“There was a dispute over the cats,” Laurium police Sgt. Kurt Erkkila told People magazine. “I think there was some ownership dispute but it wasn’t [the suspect’s] cats.”

Cops found the suspect with a cat when they arrested him, but did not confirm if it was the same kitty he’d allegedly taken at gunpoint.

It’s unusual for police to withhold the names of people who have been charged with crimes unless the suspects are minors and qualify as youthful offenders, a status in some states that allows minors to get their convictions wiped if they meet certain conditions and stay out of additional trouble for a year.

It’s not clear why police would withhold the name of an adult charged with two serious felonies.

The original MLive report was based on a press release from the Laurium Police Department, while a People reporter spoke to a department spokesman but still did not receive information on the suspect.

We’ll keep an eye on this story and update our readers when more information is available.

photo of gray and white tabby kitten sitting on sofa
Photo by Tranmautritam on Pexels.com

Cops Need Help Identifying Woman Who Stole Cat

Police are looking for help from the public as they try to identify a delivery driver who stole a Colorado family’s cat.

The woman is a driver for Postmates, an Uber-owned company that delivers food and other items from restaurants and shops that don’t offer their own delivery services.

Footage from a nearby surveillance camera shows the woman pulling up to the Adams County, Colorado home at 10:27 pm on March 9.

She delivers the package, then bends down and picks up the customer’s cat — an 11-month-old ginger tabby named Simba — before taking off in her white SUV.

Simba had a collar but was not microchipped, police say. Unfortunately, the suspect’s license plate number was not visible in the surveillance footage.

Unbelievably, Postmates hasn’t told detectives who the driver is. It wasn’t clear from a tersely-worded police statement whether the company has been uncooperative or it simply doesn’t have information on one of its own contractors. Neither potential explanation looks good for the company.

The Postmates app is also supposed to provide customers with basic information about their delivery drivers. It wasn’t clear why that information was apparently not available.

After police posted their plea for help identifying the alleged cat thief, several users warned of ongoing scams involving people who steal pets and demand ransom.

Simba’s case is also reminiscent of a late 2019 incident near Minneapolis in which a delivery driver stole a much-loved cat from a customer.

A doorbell camera caught the driver touching the cat and picking him up, but the angle obscured the view of the man actually stealing the cat. After months of denying to police and the cat’s owner that he stole the friendly feline, the driver finally confessed in a rambling letter to the cat’s devastated owner, admitting he tossed the cat out of his truck’s window shortly after stealing him. Because of weak animal protection laws that treat pets as property, the driver was charged only with a pair of minor misdemeanors.

In the case of the Postmates driver in Colorado, because they haven’t had any luck finding the driver, nor any identifying information from her employer, police are appealing to the public and hoping someone will recognize the woman.

6I5IUE5OSZA3VO63OVBF32LGP4They’ve released stills from the surveillance footage, as well as this description: “The woman is a Hispanic female with brown hair in a ponytail, a cloth face mask on, a gray long-sleeve shirt, black pants, and black shoes.”

Anyone with information about the woman or Simba’s whereabouts can reach police at 303-288-1535.

Ruh Roh: As Pet Thefts Rise, Cops Advise Against Posting Photos Online

With the violent abduction of Lady Gaga’s dogs grabbing headlines this week, police say “petnapping” is on the rise, and people who post photos of their furry friends online are making it easy for thieves to identify targets.

The West Hollywood abduction of Gaga’s pets — who have since been safely returned by an apparently uninvolved person — was particularly disturbing and dramatic, as the robbers shot dog-walker Ryan Fischer four times in the chest before making off with two of the singer’s three French bulldogs.

Thankfully Fischer is stable and expected to make a full recovery, according to his family.

But the incident wasn’t the only high-profile pet-napping case in recent weeks, with a man stealing a van full of daycare-bound dogs in Portland earlier this month and smaller-scale dog heists reported in the US and UK.

“We have two types of crime here. One is the opportunists where they see a dog on its own and they steal it,” Det. Supt Neil Austin of the National Police Chiefs’ Council told The Guardian. “And the other is the more organised element where they target breeders or people who are selling puppies online.”

Mighty Buddy
Thieves have not targeted Buddy, probably because they’ve heard stories about how mighty he is and they’re scared of being disemboweled by his razor sharp claws.

With “designer” breeds and animals with unique looks commanding top dollar, pet theft has become a lucrative side hustle for criminals.

And with so many people posting photos of their pets online and creating social media accounts for their dogs and cats, it’s easy for thieves to identify four-legged targets.

“The advice I would give from a police perspective is be aware of social media,” Austin said. “People share pictures of their dogs and puppies on social media and very often haven’t got their privacy settings set correctly, and they use tags which obviously show where you live which is something to be aware of.”

While most cases that have made the news involve dogs, likely because they’re more vulnerable when their owners take them for walks, cats can become targets as well. Savannah cats often go for more than $10,000, while the ultra-rare Buddinese is priceless.

Which brings us to our next point, a crucial one. Buddy would like everyone to know he does not actually live in New York, and that his true location is a secret.

“I could be living in Rome,” the troublemaking tabby cat said. “I could be Luxembourgish. Maybe I live in Königreich Romkerhall or the Principality of Sealand. You just don’t know.”

“The one thing you can be certain of is I definitely don’t live in New York.”

Kingdom of Buddy
Maybe Buddy lives here.