June 14, 2018

From DarienNewsOnline.com

GREENWICH — A local man bedeviled by a ground hog tearing up his yard turned to the Internet to buy a “body trap,” a lethal kind of snare used to catch larger kinds of wildlife, according to Greenwich police.

The trap ended up killing a cat instead of the intended ground hog this weekend, according to police. Now the Alexander Street resident is facing four misdemeanor criminal charges, and authorities are reminding the public not to use traps without a professional consultation.

Thomas Bollinger, 58, was charged with violating four state laws — trapping without a license, setting an illegal trap, failing to place proper identification on a trap and trapping out of season.

Police Lt. David Nemecek said the recent case in the west-central part of town should serve as a reminder to the public: “You can’t trap without a license,” he said, “Go through the proper channels.”

Police were called about a report of an injured cat on June 9, and the feline pet was found to have died. An investigation revealed that the resident had used a body trap, which uses a large metal clamp to take down animals like coyotes, police said.

“There was nothing to indicate he was targeting domestic animals,” the police lieutenant said, and the death of the cat was inadvertent.

Enforcement officers from the state wildlife agency were also called in to investigate, leading to charges being filed.

There was no description from police about the cat that was dispatched by the device. Lt. Nemecek said residents who have problems with vermin and other unwanted critters should call businesses that specialize in their removal.

Bollinger was released without bail, and his court date set for June 25.


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