A 52-year-old Laguna Beach man was charged Tuesday with killing a cat, squeezing it and slamming it on the hood of a police car as officers attempted to subdue him with stun guns.
Joey Leo Gabaldon pleaded not guilty in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana and was ordered to return to court for a pretrial hearing in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach on Oct. 30.
Gabaldon is charged with felony counts each of cruelty to an animal and resisting arrest as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and assault on police officers.
Police were called to the 400 block of Hill Street about 1:15 a.m. Sunday regarding a man “screaming and yelling,” according to Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota.
When an officer arrived he saw Gabaldon hollering with a cat in his right hand raised up, Cota said.
The suspect was “unintelligible” and did not respond to verbal commands, Cota said.
When the suspect advanced on the officer, the officer attempted to subdue the suspect with a Taser, but it had no effect, Cota said. When another officer arrived, the suspect advanced on him, Cota said.
Then the suspect hopped on the hood of a squad car and slammed the cat on the vehicle, Cota said. Again, the officers attempted to subdue him with a Taser and were successful, Cota said.
Additional officers arrived to help and took the suspect into custody and wrested the dead cat away from him, Cota said.
Gabaldon is accused of abusing the cat before his encounter with the officers, Cota said.
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