MANSFIELD -- A Mansfield man has been charged with cruelty to animals after authorities say he tossed kittens out his truck window while driving down Ashland Road.
William Vollmer, a tow truck driver for Eddie's Sunoco, 947 Ashland Road, denied the misdemeanor accusation.
Vollmer, 33, of Mansfield, told police they have problems with stray cats and kittens at Eddie's Sunoco and that they were probably falling out from under the vehicle, according to the police report.
He said he was not throwing the animals from his window.
"They just crawl up under the truck," he said. "Every impound lot in town has problems with cats. We have a million of them."
But police say a Mansfield couple called them after witnessing the incident. Darlene Harris, 54, said she was driving right behind the tow truck around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"The first thing I saw was this kitten, who came from nowhere, just tumbling across the road," she said. "I thought maybe the cat had just run out, but I just never saw anything running. Suddenly it was just there. I dodged that one."
Harris said she continued behind the truck and watched as Vollmer reached out his driver's side window and dropped two more kittens.
"By the time I saw the third, I thought, I'm calling the police," she said. "I think he was hoping that we would run them over."
Her husband Anthony Harris, 46, was in the passenger's seat.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "I was reading something at the time, but I felt her slam on the brakes for the first one and I said, 'What are you doing?' She said, 'He's throwing kittens out the window.' We kept following and sure enough he was."
The report said Vollmer reportedly tossed at least three kittens from window.
Anthony said they observed the kittens drop near Rockin Wingz, 595 Ashland Road; then another by Madison Junior High, 590 Ashland Road; and then by the Family Dollar, 431 Ashland Road.
When police searched Ashland Road, a dead kitten was found near Rockin Wingz.
By Jami Kinton, Mansfield News Journal
Mansfield News Journal / Gannett