Police divers found a dead tabby cat tied to a 10-pound weight floating in the San Francisco Bay earlier this month while searching for the gun allegedly used to kill Kathryn Steinle, officials said.
A microchip lodged inside the cat, a 2-year-old named Kazuma, led Animal Control Officers to arrest San Francisco resident Adrian Dumont on July 10. Dumont, the cat’s owner, was charged Tuesday with felony animal cruelty on suspicion of maiming and killing the animal, District Attorney spokesperson Max Szabo said.
Court records show that Dumont, 34, allegedly committed the crime sometime between July 2 and July 4. Police found the dead cat in a bag that rose to the surface days after Steinle was shot and killed near Pier 14 on the July 1.
“It’s just clear that this was a very deliberate act,” said Animal Care and Control Department head Virginia Donohue. “There was no part of this that was an accident.”
Donohue said she was saddened by the suspected killing —one of several animal cruelty cases the department responds to each year — but glad to learn that charges had been pressed against the suspect.
“Animal cruelty cases are really hard to prosecute because, of course, the victims don’t talk,” said Donohue, adding that “we got a lot of good evidence very quickly.”
The microchip connected Dumont with the dead cat from the start, but it wasn’t until later in the investigation that he became the chief suspect, Donohue said.
Dumont pleaded not guilty to a felony charge at his arraignment July 14 and was released from jail on $15,000 bail, Szabo said. He is scheduled to appear in court again July 27.
If convicted, Dumont could be looking at jail time and face fines up to $20,000.