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Stupid Case File for August 19, 2006

Can in tree? Don't call fire department

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A man angry at firefighters who refused to rescue a cat from a tree was arrested after he started shooting at the fire crew, officials said.

Jeffrey Cullen, 58, was charged with four felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter said.

A three-person fire crew went to Cullen's home Thursday when he reported a tree fire, but found no blaze, Hualapai Valley Fire Department spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said.

Instead, Cullen told firefighters he wanted a cat rescued from his tree and knew they would only respond to a fire call, Edwards said. A battalion chief told Cullen to call animal control or wait for the cat to get hungry and come down.

Cullen apparently didn't like the response, Edwards said.

"He went back into the house, got a small black revolver and came outside shooting," she said.

The firefighters and a 12-year-old boy who had come to see the fire truck ran for their lives, Edwards said. No one was injured.

Deputies arrested Cullen after a brief standoff and struggle.

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