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Ex-Soldier Storms An Animal Shelter Desperately Searching For His Cat

Ex-Soldier Storms An Animal Shelter Desperately Searching For His Cat

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Tony Wittman, a former soldier, stormed into an animal shelter, insisting he urgently needed to see his cat. Armed with what appeared to be an assault rifle, it was eventually discovered to be a toy gel ball gun.

He forcefully entered and took a shelter worker hostage. 

Wittman confronted 23-year-old B. Scarlett at gunpoint, demanding information about the shelter’s cats. In fear for her life, Scarlett begged Wittman not to hurt her, as reported by ABC News:

“If you turn around and put your hands behind your back, I won’t shoot you.”

Wittman later attributed his actions to PTSD, describing the incident as a “brain meltdown.” 

He insisted he never meant to harm anyone, including the shelter worker. Nonetheless, the damage was inflicted. Scarlett believes she’ll never completely heal from the ordeal.

animal shelter
Credit: ABC News

Wittman faced trial and was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to five charges. Astonishingly, he was only hours away from his scheduled visit to pick up his cat at the time of the incident. 

The reasons behind his actions remain perplexing, especially considering the lasting impact on the shelter worker, who doubts she’ll ever move past this traumatic event. 

Wittman later shared that his cat is what he values most in life, highlighting the depth of his attachment:

“The original plan was to sneak in, grab my cat, get the f*** out, not engage unless absolutely necessary.”

At his trial, Judge Duncan Allen described Wittman’s actions as horrifying and was deeply shocked by the trauma his victim endured. Allen went on to say:

“She described the terror of her encounter with you at the time, she explained that as a result of having been tormented and tortured by you emotionally and psychologically, you have unequivocally changed her life.”

a soldier
Credit: ABC News

Scarlett believes the psychological ordeal she endured will affect her forever. Prior to Wittman’s dramatic entry into the shelter, he had repeatedly called, inquiring about collecting his pet cat. 

Reportedly, Scarlett noticed him nearing the shelter, seemingly armed with an assault rifle, as described by the judge during the trial:

“She saw that you appeared to be in military-style clothing, something like what might be worn by SWAT team members she’d seen in movies. She assumed that something must have occurred and you must have been a member of the police.”

It quickly became evident that Wittman’s intentions were far from benign when he burst into the shelter and threatened the worker. He forced her inside at gunpoint and demanded she reveal where the cats were kept.

Afterwards, he tied her up and left her crying and kneeling on the floor until a cleaner discovered and untied her.

man took his cat home
Credit: Fox5NY

Wittman came back to the shelter around 12 hours later to pick up his cat, where he was caught on camera by the media. That same day, he confessed to the police, stating he had lapsed into “army mode” and was unclear about his actions.

“The only thing I really treasure in this world is that cat and it was taken away from me. And through anxiety, I acted irrationally and I didn’t think about the consequences of my actions. I only intended to scare her, I had no intention of harming her whatsoever.”

But the damage is irreversible. Ms. Scarlett’s life is forever altered, as she suffers flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety, and sleepless nights. As she shared with ABC News:

“There is no fix. Nothing will ever heal me. I will forever suffer the anxiety.”

This was a tragic situation, but fortunately, no physical harm came to anyone. We can only hope that Ms. Scarlett finds peace and moves past this trauma someday.

The story spread to Reddit, where many expressed confusion over Wittman’s actions. It’s impossible to fully grasp what he was thinking, but we can hope nothing like this occurs again.

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