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You say ‘meow,’ I say harassment

A district judge in Pennsylvania has been asked to decide whether "meow" is a harmless taunt or constitutes misdemeanor harassment. Jeannette police charged a 14-year-old boy for meowing whenever he sees his elderly neighbor, who complained about the family feline.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Meow. A district judge has been asked to decide whether that sound is a harmless taunt or grounds for a misdemeanor harassment conviction. Jeannette police charged a 14-year-old boy for "meowing" whenever he sees his neighbor, 78-year-old Alexandria Carasia.

The boy's family and Carasia do not get along. The boy's mother said the family got rid of their cat after Carasia complained to police that it used her flower garden as a litter box.

The boy testified Tuesday that he only meowed at the woman twice. Carasia testified, "Every time he sees me, he meows."

The boy's defense attorney, David Martin Jr., argued that the charge should be dismissed.

"This should never have been filed," Martin said. "This is not something that police should be wasting their time with or wasting the court's time."

Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis decided to wait 90 days before ruling. DeMarchis said his decision will be based on how the boy and his neighbor get along in the meantime.