Hume Hamilton of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested on Monday after law enforcement officials identified him as the man who let a pit bull attack a cat in a surveillance video, according to news reports. The cat later died, sources indicate. Hamilton, 81, was booked into Broward County Jail on charges of cruel death and pain and suffering of an animal and trespassing in connection to the incident. He was denied bail bond at an initial hearing.
Hamilton was denied bond on the grounds that he had violated the conditions for his release from jail in connection to a previous case. Hamilton had apparently been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon a year earlier, although the circumstances surrounding the charge are not clear. Hamilton does not appear to have commented on either case publicly.
News reports indicate that Hamilton was arrested on Monday in connection to the killing of a cat that occurred in June on the front lawn of a Fort Lauderdale business called Brandy Bail Bonds. The business is located on 916 South Andrews Avenue. Its’ owners, the Spath family, evidently told the press that they have owned the cat, named Mama, for 12 years and that she kept them and their customers company at the business.
The businesses’ surveillance cameras recorded the entire attack from two separate angles. In earlier reports, Tia Spath purportedly told the press that she and her family planned on suing the man in the video and that they had hired a private investigator to locate him. It is not clear whether Hamilton was first accused of being the man in the video by the private investigator or by law enforcement officials.
In the videos, which were released in the hopes that the public could help identify the perpetrator, a man can be seen walking a dog into the driveway of the business. The dog then attacks Mama, and the man can be seen attempting to separate the creatures to no avail. The man and animals disappear behind a bush for a time, after which the man can be seen walking away from the scene, dog in tow. He does not appear to inform anyone of the attack in the surveillance videos. Mama was later found dying on the sidewalk. The Spath family has buried her outside of Brandy Bail Bonds.
Press reports indicate that Hamilton may suffer from some medical problems that may affect the case. It is important to remember that he is innocent until proven guilty.
Hamilton’ case was not the only animal cruelty arrest involving cats in South Florida this week. Also on Monday, a Greenacres, Florida woman named Janna Howard was arrested after authorities found 45 cats, 2 of which were dead, in her home. She has since been released and placed in an alternate residence. It is not clear what will happen to her townhouse, which was described in the media as being full of several feet of garbage and cat waste.
The conditions inside of Howard’s home were discovered when Howard experienced a medical emergency in late May. Six of the cats were adopted by families; the others had to be put down due to medical and behavioral conditions incurred by their poor living environment.