Sunday, February 04, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007
By Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The pretty wrapping on the package left on the doorstep of a Mount Washington woman's home looked harmless enough.

It was covered with pink tissue paper and red bows.

But she immediately knew it was from her ex-boyfriend, and what she found inside was disturbing -- the severed head of a kitten. A note accompanying the package said, "I love you, Your Ben."

Yesterday, Pittsburgh police arrested Benjamin Gregory, 30, of Aliquippa, and charged him with stalking and cruelty to animals.

The black kitten was 3 to 4 months old.

"We have been unable to determine where the kitten came from. It definitely did not belong to the victim. She doesn't have pets of her own, though she loves animals and volunteers at a Pittsburgh shelter," said Katie Waters, a humane officer with Animal Friends in Ohio Township. "We don't think the kitten belonged" to the suspect.

The victim, who was not identified, called police on Sunday.

Mr. Benjamin was taken to the Allegheny County Jail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

The victim told police that Mr. Gregory had recently been released from jail and is on probation. The nature of those charges could not be determined yesterday.

"This has been an extremely difficult case to work on," Ms. Waters said.

Whatever happened to the saying, "It's the thought that counts"?



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