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Oct 21, 2009 11:19 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Charges dropped against man who sprung traps on neighbor's property

Oct 21, 2009 11:19 AM

The trespassing charges filed against Thomas Young, the Westhampton resident who went on his Dune Road neighbor’s property to free a feral cat from a raccoon trap, have been dropped, according to his lawyer.

Southampton Town Justice Barbara Wilson adjourned the case last Thursday, October 15. As long as no new charges are brought against Mr. Young, the trespassing charges will be automatically dismissed in one month, according to his attorney, Barbara Rasmussen.

Mr. Young was arrested in July and charged with two counts of criminal trespass and two counts of criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. He was caught on camera going under the home of his neighbors, Herbert and Deanne Jacobi, on two separate occasions. The first time he freed a trapped feral cat and the second time he sprayed a cat repellent, which damaged the traps, according to the trapper who set them.

Mr. Young did agree to pay for the traps that he damaged. The Suffolk County district attorney has 10 days to submit an invoice to Ms. Rasmussen. However, there are some problems with the invoice and Mr. Young may not have to pay the estimated $700 restitution, Ms. Rasmussen said.

Previously, Mr. Young said he believed that the traps were set for feral cats. The Jacobis denied that accusation and said the traps were intended to catch raccoons that have been a chronic problem for the couple.

Mr. Jacobi declined to comment on the dropped charges when reached this week.

Mr. Young said he was very happy that the charges were dropped.

“I do appreciate the support I got from many, many people,” he said.

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The Score? Humanity 1, Jacobis 0. A good outcome!
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Oct 16, 09 11:27 AM
The Jacobis are just cold, calculating people. They should be ashamed of themselves.
By nurse (53), sag harbor on Oct 16, 09 12:07 PM
I heard the Raccoons paid for his defense team...
By jekgbs (35), East Hampton on Oct 16, 09 1:39 PM
Hooray for Mr. Young for his good heart. And Hooray for Judge Wilson for her decency.
Has anything been put in place to stop those wretched Jacobis from setting traps again?
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Oct 16, 09 2:00 PM
How in the world does cat repellent damage traps? The traps are left out in the elements and are tough enough to hold angry wild animals for a long time. You'd have to take a hammer to one of them to cause any lasting damage (I caught and 're-homed' a few raccoons with a Have-a-Heart trap). I think the trapper is trying to take advantage of an unfortunate situation. What is his name again?? Why the anonymity? He doesn't want the public to know what a rip-off artist he is?
By nemesis (4), Southampton on Oct 16, 09 2:21 PM
The name is is the story if you actually read it.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 16, 09 2:40 PM
One time my neighbor set traps in their yard to trap raccoons but never checked them and a baby squriel was caught in it for days with no food and water and it was cold and raining. I could not just sit by and watch the animal die a slow death so after 3 days I went and let the baby squrriel out.
Did the people who set the trap check on it daily ? If indeed they wanted to trap raccoons then why didn't they themselves free the cat?
Sounds to me that Thomas young should be praised ...more
By amazinggrace (4), brookhaven on Oct 17, 09 8:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
How about a nice power wash of the traps. Then just scrub them with some dirt, leave them out in the weather for a couple days and they would be fine.
Give Mr. Young the number of the trapper so he can call next time he sees cats in the raccoon trap and they can be released or relocated.
I think that the demonizing of the homeowners is a bit over the top. Don't they have a right to trap and remove any nuisance animal on their property? Feral cats can stink a place up pretty fast. ...more
By private (27), sag harbor on Oct 17, 09 8:20 AM
Cat repellent from a spray can lasts only a day or two...and it then it needs to be reapplied to be effective. Rip off time here. There is NO WAY the trap was damaged.

There are strict guidelines that MUST be observed when using Humane traps... otherwise, I would suggest, that fines for neglect should be imposed on the offender.
Sometimes, there is a very good reason to use a humane trap. For example, I am holding a 3-week old kitten who I bottle feed because it was born in cold temp ...more
By Audrey Fischer (3), Chicago on Oct 17, 09 9:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Audrey Fischer (3), Chicago on Oct 17, 09 9:16 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Audrey Fischer (3), Chicago on Oct 17, 09 9:16 PM
It remains that trespass is a violation of the law. A simple phone call between neighbors should have settled the whole thing. Jacobi is clearly a cidiot.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 18, 09 1:50 PM
So if my neighbor doesnt like my Christmas decorations can he come on my property and just do what he wants? If he violates my property we would have to take the politically correct route? Unbelieveable! If the idiot would stop feeding the cats, trap them and give them to ARF maybe there would be no problem. I'm sure you all donate to ARF to support this.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Oct 18, 09 5:03 PM
if your christmas decor traps a live animal that cries for 2 days, then yes, I would intervene.
calling law enforcement first to see if they help is another option
By quioguebirder (11), on Oct 18, 09 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment