ANDERSON, Ind. -- An Anderson man suspected of setting fire to his aunt's home was found hitting the heads of decapitated cats with a baseball bat near the property, police said.
Firefighters were called to a fire at a home in the 600 block of West 34th Street about 4 p.m. Monday.
Investigators said the blaze was started with gasoline on the home's back porch, and quickly spread to the rest of the home. No one was injured and the fire was brought under control within an hour.
Police said the homeowner's nephew, Danny Davis, 32, who is homeless, was found nearby as the house burned, causing $20,000 in damages.
Davis was "playing baseball" with the heads of multiple cats that had been decapitated. Arson dogs detected the scent of gasoline on his clothes and his shoes, police said.
Neighbors Mike McClain and Mark Fetty watched as police made their move, RTV6's Derrik Thomas reported.
"(Davis) took off running. My daughter was in the yard and he was trying to get a hold of her. She jumped on the porch and the police Tasered him and got him down,” Fetty said.
"He was picking the cat up by the neck. So, I knew it was dead. He was hitting the cat … because I heard it go pop, pop. I heard him hit it a couple of times with something,” McClain said.
Anderson police said they found the cat's head behind the house. The crime is a Class D felony with a maximum sentence of eight years.
“This is something we are going to take very seriously. This case in particular, there is no justification for injuring or killing a cat. He's being charged accordingly,” Officer Chad Boynton said.
As far as a motive behind the incident, family members said Davis has a bipolar disorder and hasn't been taking his medication. They also said his aunt recently asked him to move out of her residence.