Et tu, Brute? Phoenix Police Officer Accused of Preventing Rescue of Cat for Nine Days

thumb_fireman_save_catAnimal advocates are outraged over the alleged refusal of a Phoenix, Arizona police officer to allow a cat named Brutis from being rescued from a tree for nine days. The cat became stuck in the tree on Christmas Day. The officer was reportedly worried about liability and witnesses claim that they flashed his gun and badge to keep them away.

The Humane Society attempted a rescue but found that its ladders were not tall enough. His owner, Michael, said that the officer would not allow any further attempts out of concern with liability if someone got hurt.

Toni Smith and Terry Toman with Citizens for North Phoenix Strays told the media that they attempted a rescue from a public sidewalk but that the officer went ballistic: “This guy comes barreling out of his house, flashed his gun and his badge, and started screaming and freaking out.”

The police department is defending the officer and insists that he has a right to defend his property. Brutis is now back with his owner after nine days.

For the full story, click here.

8 thoughts on “Et tu, Brute? Phoenix Police Officer Accused of Preventing Rescue of Cat for Nine Days”

  1. Pingback: Rebecca
  2. Pingback: Niko
  3. Dear Facist Nation:
    A few comments to your “rules”:

    1.Cats do indeed get stuck in trees just like humans when they are too fearful to come down. In addition, if they are kittens or partially declawed they cannot physically come down according to my local SPCA.

    2. According to the 4th Edition of the Arizona Civil Jury Instructions, trespassers may not recover for the negligence of a land owner, they may recover only if the actions of the landowner are willful and wanton–an impossible standard to meet in this situation where the rescue attempt was from the public sidewalk. In addition, a plaintiff may not recover if he/she knowingly assumes the risk of the rescue as in this situation.

    3. Case law is in accord with the instruction: Trespassers may not recover unless the landowner is guilty of some willful or wanton disregard for trespasser’s safety. Webster v. Culbertson, 158 Ariz. 159, 761 P.2d 1063 (1988) (adopting Restatement of Torts, §337). Under Arizona law, landowner may be liable for harm caused to trespasser by artificial condition on land, such as fence, or modification to land, such as trench, when landowner knows of trespasser. Delgado v. Southern Pac. Trans., 763 F. Supp. 1509 (D. Ariz. 1991). Possessor of land is required to reasonably protect trespasser’s safety once possessor knows or reasonably should discover trespasser’s presence. Id. The owner is never an insurer of anyone’s safety unless he acts intentionally to harm or has a contractual duty ti insure safety.

    4. Article 18, section 5 of the Arizona Constitution provides for the defense of assumption of risk and makes it a jury question.

    4. Mis-stating the law or twisting it to fit your conservative point of view does not bolster your argument.

  4. 1. Cats don’t get stuck in trees. They come down when they get hungry enough.

    2. In Arizona, the Arizona Court of Appeals has made any property owner liable for injuries on their property,even by trespassers. I don’t blame anyone for shooing off trespassers.

  5. uuhhh, they don’t have Tree Service companies in Phoenix Arizona?

    This seems like a case of extremely limited thinking.

  6. Sally and Jill,
    while I agree with you that someone had to have a ladder, but we pay the police and fire to do mundane jobs just like this. My question is wasn’t there a supervisor of this officer that may have had more sense?

  7. That’s crazy. Why didn’t he just get the cat out of the tree himself? That would have been the kind, neighborly thing to do.

Comments are closed.