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Man accused of extortion for threatening to kill animal hostages

May 13, 1997 GMT

TORONTO (AP) _ A Toronto man who allegedly threatened to kill a baby raccoon and a Canada goose unless bystanders gave him money faces charges of extortion.

Peter Lerat, 33, told witnesses on a Toronto street Sunday he would bash in the head of the 10-week-old raccoon unless someone gave him $50. He was arrested after a bus driver alerted police.

Authorities later euthanized the raccoon because it was found to have a badly broken jaw.

Lerat also is accused of extorting $60 from a customer in a doughnut shop on April 24 by threatening to break the neck of a Canada goose he was holding. He reportedly released the goose when he received the money.

Lerat appeared in court on Monday, but not before he made another bizarre move: He stripped off his clothes and tried to enter the court in the buff.

His motive was unclear. He put his clothes back on before entering the courtroom.