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Phoenix-bound air traveler accused in ferret death
Associated Press
Feb. 15, 2003 11:25 AM

CLAYTON, Mo. - A New York state man who smuggled a ferret onto his flight to Phoenix before beating it to death during a St. Louis layover has been charged with misdemeanor animal abuse.

St. Louis County prosecutors on Friday charged Stefan Albrecht, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y., in a warrant related to the Feb. 7 death of the small, weasel-like animal.

Albrecht kept the ferret in a carry-on cooler on an American flight from New York to St. Louis as he was bound for Phoenix, authorities said. When flight attendants realized he had the animal, they told him he was unauthorized to bring it on board and could not take it on his next flight, American spokeswoman Julia Bishop-Cross has said.

"We offered to take the ferret to the Humane Society for him," Bishop-Cross said.

But when the plane landed for a layover in St. Louis, authorities say, Albrecht allegedly took the ferret to a Lambert Airport restroom, broke the ferret's neck and flushed it down a toilet, then told airline workers what he had done.

Albrecht eventually was allowed to leave St. Louis, but airport police said they believed he would return to face the charge. ... 15-ON.html
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