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Massena man pleads guilty to abusing neighbor’s cat

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MASSENA - A Massena man charged with slamming a neighbor’s cat against the wall outside his apartment has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty count in Massena Village Court.

Village police had charged Joshua M. Dion, 23, of 2 Willow St., Massena, with animal cruelty at 12:06 a.m. Oct. 4 at the apartment complex. Sarah Gauthier told police she opened her door and her cat got out. Dion, a neighbor, reportedly caught the cat, threatened to kill it and banged its head against the wall several times.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for July 16.

Dion, in a statement he signed for police at the time of his arrest, said he had abused the cat after it showed up outside his apartment door.

“I heard something sniffing around my door. I opened the door and saw a cat,” he recalled.

“I don’t like cats, and I didn’t want it near my door. I kicked the cat away from the door and then picked it up and threw it against wall in the hallway across from my apartment,” he noted in his statement.

Ms. Gauthier, in her statement, told police she believed her cat had snuck out of her apartment when she cracked the door to let smoke out following a cooking incident. She said she went looking for her cat as soon as she discovered it was missing.

She said she found Dion beating her cat when she went to a lower floor in the apartment complex.

“Joshua Dion was holding my cat by the neck and back legs, and he was slamming my cat off the corner of the door casing. He threw the cat down and ran into his apartment. When I finally picked up my cat, it was bleeding from the nose and gasping for air,” Ms. Gauthier added in her statement.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Bonnie Jeror, 25, of Massena admitted she had violated her probationary sentence and was ordered to be drug tested. If she tests negative, she will be continued on probation. If she tests positive, the judge said she would be sentenced to jail time.

Probation officials, in a report to the court, said since being placed on probation in December 2010 Jeror had been discharged from treatment for failing to attend scheduled appointments, failed to report to her probation officer as directed and was arrested in January 2012 on a petit larceny charge.

She has been placed on probation for three years for an endangering the welfare of a child conviction after she admitted marijuana plants were growing in her residence and were accessible to three children living at the home.

That plea also satisfied a petit larceny charged filed on Aug. 29, 2010 when Jeror allegedly shoplifted personal care items including nail polish, hairbands and soap from Walmart. She was directed to make restitution of $17.63.

Police had charged Jeror and Thomas J. Lacombe on Feb. 17, 2010 with having marijuana plants growing in their residence that were accessible to the three children living at the residence.

A Department of Social Services Child Protective Services caseworker said she visited the home after receiving a report marijuana was being grown inside the residence, where three children under the age of 4 were residing. A village police officer accompanied her to the residence.

The caseworker said she was given permission to search the residence and located marijuana plants, lights and other drug paraphernalia in a closet in the laundry room.

She said one of the small children at the residence described the marijuana as “daddy’s trees” and “daddy’s plants.”

■ Nancy L. Butler, 23, of Massena, also listing a Brainardsville address, was fined $75 and a $125 surcharge for a second-degree harassment conviction.

Village police had charged Butler with second-degree harassment following an investigation into a July 17 domestic dispute. She had been charged with punching Marcus Shatraw in the face.

Shatraw, in his statement to police, said he had gone to 36 Pine St. to get the title to his vehicle from his ex-girlfriend. He had the conversation was not going well so he headed to the porch.

“I did not want the kids to see what was going on so I went to the back porch. Nancy followed me out. Nancy told me to get out, leave or she would punch me in the face, I put my hands behind my back and lifted my head and told her to do it, and I would have her arrested. She then punched me in the face,” he noted.

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