PALM BAY, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - An 88-year-old man, accused of setting a raccoon on fire, was hauled off to jail.
"I don't want no rabies from him, so that's why I tried to kill him," 88-year-old Erza James said. He caught the raccoon in a metal trap at his home in Palm Bay on Thursday. He says the raccoon ate all of his mangos and that the only way he knew to safely kill it, was to set it on fire.
James went on to say that "if this thing looks like he wants to bite me, if I let him out and he bites me and gives me rabies -- I'm scared of him."
Police say that a neighbor called 911 and when they arrived, their officer had to shoot and kill the animal to end its suffering. Then, they hauled the 88-year-old Jamaican-born grandfather to jail.
James was charged with animal cruelty, resulting in death. And after spending a night in jail, he says that he has learned his lesson, but is not sorry.