San Francisco authorities Wednesday were searching for a man who tossed a carrier containing a homeless woman’s two cats into San Francisco Bay, killing them.
The incident occurred Monday along the Embarcadero at Pier 14 when a man approached the homeless woman and started throwing all of her belongings over the side.
“She started screaming, people heard that, then he picked up the cat carrier with her two adult cats in it and hoisted that into the bay,” animal control Capt. Vicky Guldbech told KTVU-TV.
After fire crews launched a boat to retrieve the woman’s belongings, they found one cat dead inside the carrier. The other cat could not be found and is presumed to have drowned.
Officials with the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Department told KTVU that witnesses were able to give only a vague description of the suspect: a 6-foot-tall man wearing a black hoodie who may have had a skateboard with him.
Officials said it was unclear if the man knew the homeless woman or what his motive was. Witnesses described the homeless woman, who is well-known in the neighborhood, as polite and quiet. One recalled how she would take the cats out of the carrier and play with them occasionally.
“She’s still very distraught so getting information from her is very raw. She’s still very traumatized by the event,” said Guldbech told the television station.
Officials planned to review surveillance video from a nearby Amtrak station in the hope that it may show the suspect, who faces felony animal cruelty charges, running from the scene.