By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The Centralia police chief admitted today that police made mistakes in their response and investigation into the death of a cat that suffered what prosecutors called cruel and terrible injuries.
The feline, named Jay, was at one point possibly dropped from a second story balcony and maybe or maybe not, stabbed at an apartment complex in north Centralia last month.
Prosecutors released without charges a 24-year-old who was arrested, calling the evidence murky, and noting the pet’s body was not collected for evidence.
“Fortunately, these types of cases do not occur frequently in our community,” Centralia Police Department Chief Carl Nielsen stated in a news release. “This case brought to light the lack of information and resources we had available for our staff to refer to during the initial investigation.”
Police detectives have been following up on new information and evidence, Nielsen said today. He expects the case will be presented once again to prosecutors late next week, he said.
Nielsen wants the community to know that the Centralia Police Department is currently updating its policies and wanted to personally thank the members of Pasado’s Safe Haven and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for their help in both identifying resources for officers, as well as assisting in the crafting of a new policy for the department.
He says he appreciates the passion and concerns shown by the community throughout this incident.
“We have outstanding staff working here, but from time-to-time mistakes will occur,” Nielsen stated. “When those incidents do occur, we will work diligently to correct those mistakes.”
Nielsen was hired as chief of the department just one year ago.
Centralia police responded to the evening incident at the 100 block of Virginia Drive on April 28, and interviewed several individuals, including children.
They arrested the man accused of stabbing the cat, but Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher released him the following day without charges, saying someone was very cruel to the cat, but he didn’t have enough evidence to make a case.
For background read “Man released from jail with no charges in connection with Centralia cat death” from Friday April 29, 2016, here