Crime

Man accused of mutilating a cat inside Lee’s Summit restaurant where he used to work

A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged this week after he allegedly dismembered a cat and left the animal inside a fast food restaurant where he used to work, according to charging documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The prosecutor’s office charged Tanner C. Maggard with animal abuse and second-degree property damage in connection to the Oct. 19 incident.

According to court records, around 8:40 p.m., the Lee’s Summit Police Department received a report from the manager of Arby’s that the body and head of a cat were found in the restroom.

The manager told police a former employee, identified as Maggard, entered the restaurant at 1027 N.E. Rice Road in Lee’s Summit, placed an order and went to the men’s restroom.

The manager said Maggard came back from the restroom, spoke briefly and went back inside the restroom again at one point.

After other customers had left, the manager told police he went inside the restroom to clean. While he was in there, he heard Maggard coughing and gagging from inside an enclosed stall, he said.

The manager reported exiting the restroom and waiting for Maggard to leave so he could finish cleaning.

At some point, the manager said Maggard left the restroom and exited the restaurant through a back door.

The manager entered the restroom again. Inside the stall was the body of a cat lying on a diaper changing table. The cat had been cut open and decapitated, court records said. The cat’s head was found displayed on a wall above the table. Blood was smeared on the toilet, walls and stall door.

The manager told police he exited the restroom and saw Maggard sitting in a truck outside. He said he ran outside to get Maggard’s license plate number and the truck allegedly took off.

Police investigate

One police officer who responded to the scene reported no presence of a foul odor, indicating the animal may have been dead for a while. The officer said it appeared the cat had been recently mutilated.

Later, in an interview with police, Maggard stated he went to Arby’s to visit a friend and buy some food, and used the restroom during his visit. Maggard said he had smelled a foul odor in the restroom consistent with “sewage mixed with decay.” He denied having any knowledge of the dead cat.

Court records note that the manager told police Maggard had been fired from the restaurant for allegedly “setting fires” at the business in June.

Maggard was arrested that day on suspicion of damaging property. Charges were filed against him on Tuesday, and bond was set at $10,000.

An attorney for Maggard has not yet been listed in public records.

In an emailed statement to The Star, Arby’s said on Wednesday, “We are appalled by this incident and continue to cooperate with authorities as they conduct their investigation.”

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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