Man suspected of neglecting kittens arrested after barricade situation in Northwest DC

D.C. police responded to a barricade situation in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest D.C. Feb. 10, 2020. (WTOP/Joslyn Chesson)

A man wanted on an animal cruelty charge refused to surrender to police Monday morning, touching off a barricade situation that lasted about two hours and prompted two nearby schools to lock down, authorities said.

Officers had shown up to a home on Iowa Avenue near Georgia Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. Monday to arrest Doyle Betters on an animal cruelty charge relating to the neglect of several kittens at his home, according to D.C. police and the Humane Rescue Alliance.

“He concealed himself inside and refused to give himself up,” said D.C. police Cmdr. Guillermo Rivera.

The barricade lasted about two hours before the man surrendered and was arrested.

Police said there was a woman inside the house, as well as some pets. No one was injured. Police also said there was a registered firearm inside the residence.

McFarland Middle School and Roosevelt High School were on lockdown as police worked to resolve the situation. The large police response also closed a few nearby streets.

“Any time that we have a situation where a person barricades himself in, we do want to make sure that the rest of the neighborhood is safe,” Rivera said.

Betters’ arrest stems from an animal cruelty case first investigated by the Human Rescue Alliance last summer.

Authorities said they rescued six cats, including some kittens, from Betters’ home on Aug. 19 after a tip from a concerned citizen. Officers discovered sick kittens roaming the property, including several suffering severe upper respiratory infections and in dire need of medical attention.

“One kitten’s upper respiratory infection was so severe that it caused an ulcer in one of his eyes to develop and rupture, leaving the kitten, who rescuers named Marvin, in incredible discomfort,” the group said in a Feb. 10 news release. Veterinarians were forced to remove the eye.

Below is a map of the area.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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