Lost cat lands Wentzville mom in jail

WENTZVILLE, Mo. - She's a mom with a mug shot. A Wentzville mother of two says she's humiliated after she was cuffed and locked up. It's a drama that centered around the new family cat.

To look at 3-year-old Morgan Boenker playing with her cat, Thriller, it's hard not to smile. Nonetheless, it was this same cute combination that eventually made Morgan's mom cry.

"Of course, I immediately start crying because I've never been in this situation before," said Andrea Boenker.

The situation is a short stint in city lock-up. Boenker, a nurse and mother of two young daughters, came out of it with a mug shot, a record and a story to tell. One that started last summer.

Little Morgan, 2-years-old at the time, decided without telling mom to let "Thriller" out. He ended up at the pound. Boenker paid fines to the shelter and the city and got Thriller back. But months later, her husband dropped a bomb.

"He said two police officers showed up at our house today for a warrant for your arrest, I said for what?" said Boenker.

It was an animal at large ticket, Wentzville's leash law, recently beefed up. It includes fees and fines, even court appearances. Boenker says a clerk and an alderman told her she wouldn't have to go to court if she paid the fines, but the warrant was for failure to appear in court.

When she went to the police department hoping to clear it up, "the door locks behind me and just as it locks he says now I just want you to know that you're officially under arrest, so you can't run."

After two and a half hours in jail, this mom wants to get the word out.

"There has to be some common sense that's exercised here in the justice system," she said.

NewsChannel 5 spoke with Wentzville's mayor. He says kinks do need to be worked out in the ordinance and the board of alderman will be doing that.

Boenker did get a summons to appear in court, but because she was told she didn't have to appear, she disregarded it.


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