SALEM — A Salem man was ordered held without bail after allegedly hitting his girlfriend and breaking her phone, then grabbing her 4-week-old kitten and threatening to snap its neck Wednesday night.
The kitten survived, and now Pershing Reid III, 30, is being held without bail. The judge also granted a request to add the kitten and the woman’s other pets to the restraining order obtained by his now-former girlfriend.
Under a recent change in state law, victims of domestic violence can ask a judge to bar abusers not only from coming near the victim but from contact with pets, as well.
Salem District Court Judge Matthew Nestor said it’s ordinarily something he hasn’t done but agreed to add the woman’s cats to the restraining order yesterday, “given the nature of the case.”
He ordered Reid held without bail for 90 days as a danger to the community, after finding “there are no conditions to assure the safety of the victim and, frankly, based on the police reports I read, the community at large.”
Salem police were called to the couple’s Boston Street apartment, where the victim’s mother also lives, around 9:30 p.m.
The victim told officers that she and Reid had been arguing when she demanded that he sleep on the sofa for the night.
He refused, she said, and when she told him to leave the apartment, he struck her in the face. When she tried to call police, he grabbed and broke her phone, she said.
Then he turned his attention to the kitten, grabbing it around its neck and saying he would break it.
“He was choking it,” the woman told the judge during her restraining order hearing.
Police arrested Reid on charges of domestic assault and battery, witness intimidation, and animal cruelty.