Stacy El-Muhammad, the father of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, is facing several charges for improperly keeping a serval, an exotic cat native to Africa.
Via NY Post
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s dad was hit with 21 charges Tuesday for the alleged illegal purchase of an African wild cat that attacked a neighbor’s dog in Ohio two months ago, a report said.
Back in October El-Muhammad made news when his serval was killed by police after it attacked a neighbor’s dog.
Jim Zuber says he and a neighbor first saw the serval Saturday.
“It just creeped along between my bushes and the house here and it literally came up to the front door,” Zuber said. “So we cautiously stayed out in the front yard as it went around the side of the house.”
Zuber said the serval had a collar on but clearly exhibited wild instincts.
“It was kind of creeping towards us and as we took a step backward, it would take steps toward us and when we made noise to shush it away, it hunched back in a position to leap forward,” he said.
The serval resurfaced in this neighborhood Sunday when it allegedly attacked a dog. Deputies responded and shot the cat when it appeared in an “attack stance.”
Elliott’s father initially claimed that the serval was not his but police determined that he did indeed own the cat.
Via USA Today
Investigators spoke with El-Muhammad, who said he was keeping the serval but wasn’t the owner, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Investigators used a microchip in the serval to trace its ownership, determining it had been sold to El-Muhammad, who did not hold the required permit to own a serval in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture filed nine charges against El-Muhammad:
‒ Failure to notify of dangerous wild animal escape;
‒ Obstruction of official business;
‒ Allowing dangerous wild animal to escape;
‒ Failure to notify law enforcement of dangerous wild animal escape;
‒ Failure to have dangerous wild animal signage at property entrance;
‒ Possession of a dangerous wild animal;
‒ Failure to obtain dangerous wild animal permit;
‒ Failure to have dangerous wild animal signage on cage.
Eight of the nine charges are first-degree misdemeanors. El-Muhammad also faces 12 other charges from other involved agencies.