LONDON (CBS/AP) The woman who was captured on camera allegedly grabbing a cat by the scruff of its neck and dropping it in a large can before closing the lid and hurrying away down the street, has now been given police protection after receiving death threats when her identity was made public.
The cat in question, Lola, apparently spent 15 hours trapped in the trash bin before her owners found her by following the sound of her cries. Stephanie Mann, Lola's owner, says that after they found her Sunday morning they went to the videotape, so to speak.
The Manns had installed cameras after string of robberies in their neighborhood recently, and Stephanie Mann said they fully expected to see a couple of local youths or a drunk the night before had done the terrible deed, the Coventry Telegraph reported.
Instead, what they was a respectable-looking gray-haired woman gently petting their beloved gray-striped kitten - just before she dumps her in to the trash.
"I was absolutely heartbroken to see how someone could just be so cruel," Stephanie Mann told the newspaper. "I don't know what went through her head but it was just disgusting to watch and it broke my 8-year-old daughter's heart."
The Manns quickly posted the video on YouTube in the hopes that someone would recognize the woman, and the video quickly went viral with viewers calling the woman a "psychopath' and saying that she deserved to be treated the same way she treated Lola.
Then she was identified and the real backlash began.
Death threats were posted on websites and apparently her name and address were leaked online. Coventry police department said a small number of community support officers - wardens who assist the police but have no powers of arrest - had been stationed near the woman's home after a crowd gathered outside.
Investigators have urged local residents to show restraint and allow investigators to do their jobs.