Row over rat ends in assault charges |

Row over rat ends in assault charges

A Grass Valley man ended up in jail on assault charges after an argument that reportedly revolved around a pet rat.

Daniel Allen Hardy, 45, had been bothering customers all day Monday outside a coffeehouse in the 200 block of Commercial Street, according to dispatch reports.

Hardy said he was there to preach a Christian message of peace, said Nevada City Police Sgt. Paul Rohde.

But the situation devolved about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Hardy "was on the boardwalk, harassing a young man and his pet rat," Rohde said.

"The young man got quite upset."

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The two men became involved in a "heated exchange," Rohde said.

A passerby tried to intervene — and that's when Hardy reportedly pulled a padlock attached to a lanyard out of his pocket and took an aggressive stance with the homemade weapon.

Hardy did eventually put the padlock down and no one was harmed, Rohde said.

He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and was being held in jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Hardy had failed to appear in Nevada County Superior Court on April 14 for two separate misdemeanor arrests — one in January for being under the influence of a controlled substance and one in February for obstructing a business.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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