Marcus the cat was found underneath a couch at an apartment on Pleasant Avenue south in Minneapolis. Blood was dripping from his mouth.
The cat's owner would learn from her boyfriend of less than a month, Taylor Winum, that Marcus had jumped onto the apartment's second floor railing and fell off the balcony. When Winum ran outside to fetch Marcus, the cat "began to bite and scratch" him as the traumatized creature hid beneath a car in a parking lot, court documents show.
Marcus' owner would rush him to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Clinic. The cat had suffered a skull fracture. He was unable to close his jaw. His tongue was bruised and ripped up. He struggled to breathe.
Marcus would have to be euthanized.
"My heart breaks so much more for him," says the owner, who asked not be identified. "He was so traumatized."
The owner's suspicions grew. Winum's story didn't feel right.
"He just said Marcus had attacked him and didn't give any details," she says.
The apartment manager harbored suspicions as well. She summoned Minneapolis Animal Control. Its officers were able to review surveillance footage from the early hours of May 17.
It revealed the horrific.
According to court documents, it showed Winum carrying Marcus by the throat to the apartment complex's rear entrance. A short time later, the camera captured Winum throwing Marcus into a yard by the head. Marcus, disoriented by the attack, fled. But Winum caught up and grabbed him again.
Footage would soon show Winum squeezing the cat's neck, which, according to court documents, "appears to be an attempt to break the cat's neck."
Words escape the victim to explain the incident. The couple hadn't been in a fight. And while Winum wasn't a cat person, she never took him for a pet killer.
Winum has been charged with felony mistreatment/torture of animals, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
His now-ex-girlfriend says Winum worked in the concert promotion business.
He is named as the founder of Winum All Management, a concert promotion firm in Brooklyn, New York.
Winum could not be reached for comment; his cell number is no longer in service.
The defendant is due in court Aug. 10.
Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Winum was one of the founders of the Infrasound Festival, which has grown into a two-day event in Wisconsin featuring dozens of acts, including "Music for Dance & Yoga" Desert Dwellers and dubstep electronic music pioneer Loefah. Winum relationship with the event was that of a third-party marketing consultant.
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