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Detroit Lakes man acused of terrorizing woman with gun, choking her cat

A Detroit Lakes man made his first appearance Monday in Becker County District Court on felony charges of second degree assault-dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Tad Isaac Butcher, 26, of 1007 McKinley Ave., Detroit Lakes, is also facing a gross misdemeanor count of interference with an emergency call and a misdemeanor charge for mistreatment of animals in connection with the Dec. 24 incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Butcher became involved in an argument with a woman inside her Frazee apartment.

The argument allegedly escalated to the point where he demanded that she tell him where her gun (which she carries for work purposes) and car keys were kept.

When she refused to tell him, he allegedly bit her on the hand and grabbed her cat, which he proceeded to strangle until it lost consciousness.

The woman then told Butcher where her gun was, after which he went to get it and allegedly used the gun to punch a hole through a sheetrock wall in her apartment. According to the complaint, he then chambered a bullet in the gun, after which the woman fled, fearing he was about to shoot her.

She left the apartment and started walking down the street, then called law enforcement.

When an officer responded, she began talking with him about the incident, appearing visibly shaken. While they were talking, the officer noticed Butcher leaving the apartment building.

Butcher has a felony conviction on his record, and his right to carry firearms has not been restored by the state.

He is in custody at the Becker County Jail pending his next appearance at a Jan. 18 omnibus hearing. His bail was set by the court at $60,000 with conditions, or $100,000 without conditions.