Hollywood man accused of trapping cats, making them ‘disappear’

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Cats are disappearing one-by-one in one area of Hollywood as neighbors are going to war over the missing felines.

Flyers that Eda Lourdes Amador hung up all over her neighborhood tell cat owners to beware.

“I have been posting all over the trees and the block so that people are aware, if their cat is missing to go and look at his house in the trap,” Amador told Local 10.

Amador said she has rescued two community cats out of her neighbor’s trap, but two other felines named Toby and Kiwi are still missing.

She’s not the only one looking for lost cats either.

“This guy needs to be stopped because he’s an evil guy. All of the cats are in danger in this neighborhood. These are community cats!” Amador said.

Amador claims her neighbor a few doors down, David Capozzi, is trapping cats in his front yard and she has the cellphone video to prove it.

“You’re trying to trap cats,” Amador tells Capozzi in the video.

“I am,” he responds. “Any cat that goes on my property, I trap it and it disappears.”

With such alarming words caught on camera, Local 10′s animal advocate Jacey Birch went to Capozzi’s house to talk to him about these cat trap allegations.

He denied to Birch that he was trapping cats.

“They showed me pictures of traps and videos of you saying you’re going to dispose of them or get rid of them -- so?” Birch asked.

“OK, bye,” Capozzi said before closing his front door.

Other neighbors besides Amador also went to Birch with missing cat stories.

“Yeah, he’s lying,” Erick Marino said. “I can tell you personally, he made my daughter cry every night so I’ll never forget that.”

Marino’s cat Chloe went missing for months after disappearing in September. She was home by November and Marino blames Capozzi for Chloe’s disappearance.

“He did it to our cat and I told him, ‘My cat is in your pen. I don’t care what you’re doing, just let him out,’” Marino said.

Chloe made it back home, but others have not, which is why Amador and her husband, Richard Lothian, have gone to war with Capozzi.

“Cats are free reigning animals, don’t you know that?” Lothian is heard on video telling Capozzi.

“Yeah, when they free reign on my property, they disappear. Just so you know, you’ll never see them again.”

In addition to the flyers posted, the police have been called out to the neighborhood numerous times, and there have been requests for restraining orders and also threats among neighbors.

“I went to court today to answer as a respondent to the injunction and Mr. Capozzi didn’t show up, so it was dismissed without prejudice,” Lothian said.

Half a dozen Hollywood police and incident reports were recorded in April and May. Code compliance notifications and Broward County Animal Care correspondence clearly state authorities are well aware of this ongoing problem.

And the Broward County ordinance is clear, as well -- a property owner has the right to humanely catch or trap a nuisance cat and bring that animal to Broward County Animal Care and Adoption.

BCAC confirms Capozzi has not brought any cats to the shelter.

“These poor souls have lost everything now -- they have lost their homes, they’ve lost their food security, they’ve lost their care and love from their family members,” Lothian said.

Birch reached out to the Hollywood animal control officer overseeing this case, but her calls were not returned.

Since there is no record of Capozzi dropping off any cats at the shelter, it remains unclear what happened to the missing felines.

About the Author:

Jacey Birch anchors Local 10 News Mornings each weekday from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She is also proud to be the animal advocate for Local 10's investigative team.