Standoff that started with burnt cat leads to a catastrophe charge

A South Philly man who allegedly started a seven-hour standoff with police on Sunday by burning and hanging his neighbor's cat has been charged with risking a catastrophe and related charges, according to police.

Alvira DeSousa, 40, of Dickinson Street near 19th, allegedly holed up in his house with his two young sons after police responded to reports of the burning cat around 10:15 a.m.

The cat, named Anne-Marie, did not survive being burnt and hung from DeSousa's fence, police said. The standoff ended when DeSousa surrendered peacefully and released his sons, who were unharmed.

Along with the risking a catastrophe charge, DeSousa was also charged with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and cruelty to animals.