A man wearing military tactical gear and carrying a rifle kidnapped an Australian animal shelter worker on Monday, bound her and threatened to shoot her unless she revealed “where all the cats are.”
On Tuesday, a suspect was arrested when he showed up at the same shelter to claim a cat he said was “a support animal for a friend with mental health issues,” according to the Australian news site News.com.
Tony Wittmann, 44, a former soldier, was charged in Melbourne Magistrates Court with kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, armed robbery and firearm offenses connected with the incident at the Lost Dogs Home in Cranbourne.
The on-call employee — a 23-year-old woman — was approached in the shelter’s parking lot around 10:20 p.m. Monday by a man in camouflage clothing, a balaclava and a helmet, the Guardian reported. Believing he was a police officer, she got out of her car. The man then displayed his rifle and ordered her into the shelter, where he forced her to kneel, tied her hands with zip ties and demanded to know where the cats were.
He left without taking anything, and the woman was able to free herself.
The following day, Wittmann showed up at the shelter for an appointment he had made Monday afternoon to retrieve a cat.
He was arrested, and police say he confessed during an interview to the kidnapping.
Representing himself in a bail hearing Wednesday, Wittmann told the court he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, News.com said.
A police detective said Wittmann served in Australia’s military from 1995 to 1997 and was discharged for “failing to render efficient service.”
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Bail was denied, and Wittmann is scheduled to return to court in April.
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment