Residents in Mesa's Marlborough neighborhood are outraged over the reduction in charges against a man they believe is responsible for the disappearance and mutilation of about 40 cats.
So on Tuesday, 12 residents, many of whom have had cats go missing — or turn up dead -- in the past few months, picketed with signs containing the picture of Scott Graham, who was arrested earlier this month in connection to the cat killings and mutilations. Their protest was sparked by authorities' decision to reduce the charges Graham was facing.
The Maricopa County Attorney's office said there is not enough evidence to pursue animal cruelty and abuse-related charges, and returned the case to Mesa Police. On Monday, police said they would only be pursuing misdemeanor theft charges at this time.
The residents, who said that cats have been disappearing or being found dead in the neighborhood "for years," hope to stage a larger protest "Engage the Outrage!" from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the entrance of the Marlborough Mesa neighborhood at Alma School Road and Pecos Avenue.
Graham, 39, lives in the neighborhood and owns a rental property there.
Two residents caught Graham on video surveillance, including one of him taking a cat off the roof of a car before leaving with it and tossing it out the window of his vehicle when he realized he was being followed, police have said.
Graham told police that he had taken about 40 cats, but only "played" with them.