TILDEN TOWNSHIP — An Upper Bern Township father and son have been charged with animal cruelty after a Hamburg-area resident reported seeing a kitten tossed out of the passenger window of a car.
Allen J. Heckman, 61, and Aaron J. Heckman, 20, both of the 100 block of Forge Dam Road, were charged by summons on June 25 by a state trooper from the Hamburg station, according to court records.
Both men waived a preliminary hearing Monday before District Judge Kim L. Bagenstose in Hamburg and remain free awaiting further court action.
According to the criminal complaint:
A Tilden Township resident saw a blue Saturn going past his property on Old Route 22 on June 18. He said an occupant threw a kitten out the passenger widow while the car was moving. The cat landed on the road.
The car continued east on Old Route 22. The resident got in his vehicle, followed the car and took a photo of the license plate. He made contact with the driver and asked him why he threw the cat out the window.
The driver replied, "Since you have a farm I thought you can use another cat."
The man called police. Trooper John Wenrich did a PennDOT registration search and learned the vehicle was registered to Allen Heckman. The trooper went to the Heckman residence and asked Allen Heckman if he knew why he was there.
"Is it about the cat?" Allen Heckman replied.
When Wenrich asked him why he would throw an animal out the window of a car, Heckman said he didn't want the cat, a stray that ended up on his property.
The younger Heckman approached the trooper and admitted he was in the car and threw the cat onto the road while his father was driving.
It was unclear whether the kitten suffered any injuries.