Without question one of my favorite “Cops Gone Wild” stories. A Sierra Times Classic from the Wayback Machine.
The Strange Case of Gil McGillicuddy
TJ Kattermann 09.06.01
What is it with law enforcement and family pets? Ruby Ridge started when Ninja Clad Warrior Wannabes shot the family dog and initiated a firefight with Randy Weaver’s son. In Santa Clarita James Beck was worried the BATF would injure his dog. While this North Carolina case does not rise to the level of pathos of these other cases, it is oddly resonant of the mindset of modern law enforcement. The names have been changed to protect the guilty because God knows the dog has suffered enough.
After almost exactly one hundred days Gil McGillicuddy’s (not his real name) dog was returned to him.
The dog, Cuddles, (not her real name) was imprisoned for three months in the Cornucopia County Animal Shelter (not a real North Carolina County) at the direction of one Cornucopia County Deputy Sheriff Brassbadge (not his real name) as part of an aggressive animal abuse investigation.
McGillicuddy’s trip through Alice’s Looking Glass began at twilight on Saturday evening April 20th 2001 when he peered through the window of his mobile home and was surprised to see three uniformed Cornucopia County Sheriff Deputies standing in his front yard each of whom had arrived in a separate vehicle………
The Magistrate was moved to tears when he read the charge against McGillicuddy, possibly because of the official grammar.
Deputy Brassbadge used a North Carolina Uniform Citation ticket to charge McGillicuddy with his violation. The North Carolina Uniform Citation lists over a dozen possible traffic offenses and provides a blank category for an arresting officer to fill in with some other offense should circumstances warrant.
So the text of the actual charge presented to the court read as follows:
” The undersigned officer has probable cause to believe that on or about Saturday 2030 PM the 20th day of April 2001 in the named county the defendant did unlawfully and willfully operate a (motor) vehicle on a 14. did beat him dog by kicking him in the dog and around the head with his hand, and did pick up dog throw him out the front door this Abuse is in violation of GS”
McGillicuddy spent the rest of Saturday night in the Cornucopia County Jail and posted bail early Sunday morning.