Halt! Neighborhood Association!


Update to the story of a Fort Wayne man who wrecked his car and let his cougar escape: he's now being sued by his neighborhood association to force him to get rid of his three remaining wild cats (another cougar and two fifty-pound servals):

An Allen County man housing wildcats at his home not only faces criminal charges but also must contend with a civil lawsuit filed by his neighbors, seeking permanent removal of the animals. Gary L. Dutcher, 31, was charged last month with leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor; operating a vehicle while his license was suspended, an infraction; and maintaining a public nuisance, an ordinance violation.

Dutcher crashed his car on Stellhorn Road near Lahmeyer Road Jan. 31 while hauling his 150-pound cougar named Samson home from a veterinary clinic. The wildcat fled the car and eventually had to be shot and killed in the 7000 block of Stellhorn despite efforts by emergency workers to tranquilize the animal.

. . .

On Monday, Still Water Place Community Association sued Dutcher, seeking the eventual permanent removal of the wild animals. The lawsuit alleges he has broken restrictive covenants established for the neighborhood because the animals are "inherently extremely dangerous."

. . .

The lawsuit notes the escape of Dutcher's cougar in January shows the need for the immediate removal of the animals "before another of the animals escapes from its enclosure to roam the community or, worse, attacks humans and other animals."
Personally, I think the 'leaving the scene of an accident' charge is a bit much (reports are that he left the scene of the accident to CHASE THE ESCAPED COUGAR!), but the guy probably should have read his neighborhood association's by-laws, which (I'm guessing) had some verbiage along the lines of "NO CATS THAT CAN KILL YOU!".

But I probably shouldn't expect Dutcher to pay real close attention to legal issues...

About one month before Dutcher crashed his car and the cougar escaped, he was arrested on drunken driving charges. He pleaded guilty earlier this month and is awaiting sentencing, scheduled for March 1.

In May 2003, he was sentenced to 18 months probation for impersonating a U.S. marshal in October 2002.


I still don't know what the big deal is. The 7000 block of Stellhorn has always been the place to go to get a little pussy...



Actually, that appears to be where to go to get a BIG pussy. With teeth. "Snappin' pussy," as it were.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on February 27, 2004 4:48 PM.

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