The Laguna Beach Police Department said the incident happened early Sunday around 1 a.m. on the 400-block of Hill Street and originated with authorities responding to calls about a man in the middle of the street screaming and yelling.
The first officer who responded to the scene reportedly found the man, identified by police as 52-year-old Joey Gabaldon, holding the cat with his right hand while "squeezing it" and holding it in the air.
The officer ordered Gabaldon to stop, but he allegedly continued to walk towards the officer while yelling "unintelligible words.” The officer fired his Taser at the 52-year-old, but it had no apparent effect, according to police.
When a second officer arrived, Gabaldon began walking towards him while holding the cat in his hand. He then allegedly got on the hood of the second cop's patrol vehicle and began bashing the cat against the hood of the car.
Police said they then used a Taser on him a second time, causing Gabaldon to fall to the ground. Officers were then able to take the cat away from him, but soon realized the feline was dead, authorities said.
It's unknown if the cat died as a result of being slammed against the police vehicle or if it had died previously. However, the Laguna Police Department told FOX11 they were able to determine Gabaldon had been abusing the cat before officers arrived at the scene.
Gabaldon was transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach for a medical evaluation before he was booked in Orange County Jail. He has been charged with suspicion of animal cruelty, resisting an executive officer and resisting arrest. Gabaldon's bail is set at $20,000 and he's scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 30.
Police told the Daily Pilot they were still trying to identify the cat's owner.