FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When the New Haven police officer arrived at the apartment on a report of a cat being beaten, he found blood on the walls and the hardwood floor.
The cat’s owner, Mark Collier, 66, of the 2500 block of Sheridan Road, had blood on his socks and clothing and long cuts or scratches up and down his arms and hands.
Collier was charged Thursday with felony torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
That police run at 11:12 p.m. on March 12, 2021 led to an investigation by Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control officer Stacy Endsley after a caller reported he’d seen Collier throw a cat across his apartment and beat the cat with a belt, court documents said.
Endsley arrived at the apartment less than an hour later and found Sydney, a spayed tortoise shell cat, huddled in a corner “hiding and shaking.”
The room where Collier lived was “covered in blood splatter, blood smears and bloody hand prints,” Endsley reported. Sydney appeared to have hemorrhaging in her eyes, with her left eye being almost completely red, as well as wet and dried blood on her nose.”
Sydney had “defecated all over herself and she was soaked with wet blood all over her fur,” Endsley reported, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Christina Fosnaugh, an investigator with the Allen County Prosecutor’s office. The officer wrapped the cat in a towel and placed her in a cage, court documents said.
After Endsley took care of Sydney, she interviewed Collier who said he’d come home and found the cat lying on the couch. He picked her up and hugged her, denying allegations that’s he’d thrown her.
When Endsley asked Collier how he got scratches up and down his arms and hands, Collier said he tried to pick up the cat and she resisted. He told the officer that he and the cat were “only chasing each other” and that was how they played.
When the officer told Collier that his cat appeared to have severe head trauma, Collier said his cat “ran head first into the wall when he was chasing her,” court documents said.
Endsley took Sydney to veterinarian Dr. Jason Crawford who found that the cat’s skull was fractured.
Five days after Endsley responded to the call, animal care and control officer Kyle Bachert delivered a bond letter to Collier. Collier said that day that Sydney’s head got stuck in the mattress springs when he lay down to go to sleep and he heard the cat begin to cry. Collier said he had been trying to free the cat’s head from the springs when he “got all scratched up by the back paws,” court documents said.
The original caller wrote a statement saying he was checking his mail when he heard lots of yelling and “shut the f—- up,” several times in a row. When he passed by again, he saw a cat thrown against Collier’s window and then saw Collier. He then saw Collier hitting the cat four to five times with what looked like a black belt.
Animal Care & Control spokeswoman Holly Pasquinelli said Thursday afternoon that the cat was adopted, is doing well and despite its ordeal is “super friendly and outgoing.”