Geauga County: Limo driver in court over 68 cats seized

CHARDON -- The Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village still needs help finding homes for dozens of cats. It is taking care of the 68 cats seized earlier this month from the home and business of Robert Konst, 66, of Bainbridge.

Another Bainbridge resident filed a complaint that the animals were being kept in unsanitary conditions at Konst's home and his Chagrin Valley Limousine garage on East Washington Street.

Konst appeared before Chardon Municipal Court Judge Terri L. Stupica Wednesday afternoon, asking that he be allowed to have eight of the 68 cats back.

Related story: Geauga Sheriff seizes dozens of cats at Bainbridge location

He was represented by attorney Michael Feldman. A special prosecutor -- Jeff Holland --- had been appointed to represent the Humane Society. Konst is facing 24 counts of companion animal cruelty.

In this civil hearing, Stupica said bond was set at $5,433.28 to cover the Humane Society's costs for caring for the cats if Konst wanted the eight back,.

And then she denied Konst his request to get eight of the cats back and said "...the conditions were deplorable...and I do not find Mr. Konst's testimony credible..." regarding how he said he cared for the cats, spent $70 a day on cat food, and how the conditions were clean and not unsanitary.

Konst faces another hearing in Chardon Municipal Court next week.

And Konst still faces criminal charges from November in Solon where he was accused of trying to lure two boys into his limousine.

Konst is scheduled for a pretrial before Bedford Municipal Court Magistrate Nicholas Papa at 8:45 a.m. March 10. There Konst is charged with impersonating a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and child enticement in Solon.

Related story: Solon: Limo driver accused of luring boys

Two 12-year-old boys walking from the McDonald's to the CVS on Aurora Road just after 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday in early November happened to walk past a limousine parked near the D & M convenience store.

They told police that the driver, later identified as Konst, called them over to the limo and asked them if they wanted to take pictures of his limo.

Konst allegedly then showed the boys a gold-colored badge and claimed that he was an undercover Cleveland Police Officer as well as a bodyguard for celebrities. The boys said he got out of the limo and told them it was all right and that they could get in the limo and take photos.

At that point, the two boys ran to CVS and called parents. Officers located Konst in the Nite & Day Laundromat in the same shopping strip where D & M is, according to the police report.

Police say that Konst was doing his laundry when they arrived, according to the police report.. Police dispatch told the officers that Konst had a Carry Concealed permit. Konst then showed officers a Cleveland Police "Friend" badge which he had in the pocket of his pants.

He told officers that he did not have a gun on his person or in his limo. After further investigation, Konst was placed under arrest for criminal child enticement and a tow was ordered for his vehicle.

During the inventory search of Konst's limo, officers located a 9mm handgun under the armrest. As a result, he was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon because he failed to notify officers on the scene that he had a weapon with him.


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