“Deputies investigated…and prosecutors charged Walter Kenneth Baldwin, 69, 1916 Happy Hollow Road North, West Lafayette, with conspiracy to torture or mutilate a vertebrate animal, torture or mutilating a vertebrate animal, conspiracy to killing a domestic animal and killing a domestic animal,” per the JCOnline, part of the USA Today network.
Local media said that a teen posted a video on social media showing him kick a caged cat into a pond, drowning the animal (see below). The teen is potentially a “helper” at the community, per JC Online. “Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington said the 17-year-old boy faces similar charges in juvenile court.”
The alleged incident took place on Thanksgiving Day. Sources say that “Baldwin told detectives he didn’t want to shoot the cat because it would create a “bloody mess,” according to the affidavit” that the suspect signed. Baldwin drove the teen to the lake, where the alleged incident took place.
“You ready?” the teen asked in the fuzzy video posted to social media. “Yeah, go for it,” a man in an SUV replied.
The video pans down to a meowing cat, that is kicked into the pond, and instantly sinks. “Perfect” is heard on the video from the man in the SUV.
Animal advocates have reportedly tried “for years to work with Baldwin to reduce the feral cats around the mobile home park,1 said Jessica Smith, director of Paws Swap and Lost and Found Pets of Lafayette. They’ve offered to trap, vaccinate and neuter the cats with no expense, and they offered to relocate the cats after they’ve been treated.”
Baldwin reportedly declined, per Smith. “If they would have called animal control, they would have picked it up and taken it to the animal shelter.” Smith also said the collar on the cat indicated the cat is abandoned, not feral.
The entire incident is certainly tragic on the surface, and no balance is seemingly available to this report from other sources. A posted comment on Instagram adds to the harsh scenario, “don’t blame him [alleged cat killer] blame the people who don’t pay rent for months and leave it there.”
The Journal and Courier said that they attempted to call the published number for “the 52 Mobile Home Park1 in West Lafayette,” but got no answer.
This disturbing report will be connected to a broader upcoming report, and is part of the mix found further below about media and manufactured housing. Watch for our upcoming special report on the Daily Business News on MHProNews. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Footnote 1) The name of the business appears to be 52 Mobile Home Estates, and the homes visible from Google Street view are of a HUD Code manufactured homes, not mobile homes.
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