Police Lt. Terry Hastings said police detectives are now talking to a man as a potential suspect related to the reported wave of disappearing cats in the Stifft Station/Capitol View neighborhood. Hastings said the suspect has been identified by Antonio Solares, the original witness in the case, as the man who assaulted Solares after he tried to stop the man from stuffing a cat with a plastic bag tied over its head into a small cooler. Hastings described the suspect as a "mental patient."
UPDATE: Police have arrested a homeless man in the scuffle Solares reported. They believe that was an isolated incident, unrelated to other missing cats. Report on the jump.
FROM TERRY HASTINGS:
Little Rock Police arrested James Anderson, W/M 8-31-1984, homeless, for the incident involving the cat that occurred on November 4th at 122 Rice Street. Mr. Anderson was charged with 3rd Degree Battery for his assault on the home owner and placed in PCRJ. The victim observed Mr. Anderson try and stuff a cat in a cooler and the victim stopped him and was struck by a stick Mr. Anderson picked up. Today the victim observed Mr. Anderson walking on Markham and called 911. Officers arrested him a short time later. Mr. Anderson has mental problems and was not able to give a statement. It is unclear what Mr. Anderson was going to do with the cat and we believe this is an isolated incident. Mr. Anderson is homeless and we are trying to get him professional help for his mental state.
PS — In our original report, we linked to a New York Times story at the request of several readers interested in a potential relationship between bizarre behavior and cats, perhaps caused by a parasite. Here it is.