Bremerton teenager pleads not guilty to setting cat on fire

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- A 16-year-old Bremerton boy faced a judge Thursday afternoon for allegedly setting a cat on fire.

The teenager has no prior criminal record but he’s now facing serious animal cruelty charges.

A tip came in this week after police released surveillance video of the suspect they believe set fire to a cat behind Bremerton High School on Sunday night.

A woman who turned the boy into police after seeing his picture on the news told Q13 FOX News me she did it to make sure the child gets the help he needs.

A passerby found the animal writhing in pain Sunday night and immediately called 911. The cat had twine tied around its neck; its injuries were so severe that it had to be euthanized. The animal turned out to be a pet owned by a man who lives nearby.

Bremerton Police Chief Steven Strachan said the boy admitted to detectives that he set the cat on fire using butane and much more.

"He did confess, disturbingly, to not only the incident itself but also indicated that he had abused small animals like squirrels and frogs in the past," Strachan said Wednesday.

The boy’s mother was in court as her son’s lawyer entered a not-guilty plea to the charge.

Prosecutors asked the judge to set a high bail at $50,000 because they claim he poses a danger to the community. But the judge decided to go easy on his bail.

“Given the fact that he’s a juvenile, and it’s his first offense, I’ll set bail at the amount of $25,000,” said Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen.

If the child’s family posts bail, the judge said he’ll have to stay on house arrest and he won’t be able to have any pets.

If convicted, he could be incarcerated until he’s 21.