A Northern California teenager is facing a felony animal cruelty charge after footage has surfaced of him throwing a kitten into what appears to be a lake. According to The Modesto Bee, 18-year-old Garrett Haile was arrested and booked on Friday on suspicion of animal cruelty.
A second boy, who is 17 years old and not identified by police, was believed to have operated the camera taping the incident. He was arrested on suspicion of participating in a criminal conspiracy.
The incident is believed to have occurred about a year ago but the video recently surfaced and went viral, explained Patterson Police Services Chief Jeff Dirkse. In the video, the person filming can be heard to say, "Welcome to badass, and this is Felipe the flying cat." At that point, the suspect on-camera takes the cat by the scruff of the neck and throws it into a lake.
Below is a screenshot of the incident (per the Daily Mail) of the video:
One person who saw the video shared her reaction. "My heart, it just left my body,' said Nicole Pinheiro to the Daily Mail. "And, I showed my mom, and she burst into tears. She was like 'I can't believe that this is the world now."'
She said that the suspects' ages don't rationalize their actions. "At 17, I still knew what I was doing. He knew what he was doing." She added, "Even if he was just joking around or just trying to put something on Snapchat or whatever he was doing, it's wrong regardless. Regardless of if it's a year old or today, he still did it."
Haile is a senior at Patterson High in Patterson, California. He played football and golf for the school and participated in its competitive FFA welding team, which placed first in a competition two years ago.
Haile is expected to be tried as a minor.
Authorities are still investigating the incident and trying to locate where exactly the taping took place. Patterson police are asking anyone with information about this animal cruelty act to call Kristian Torres at (209) 652-5385.
This isn't the first instance of a crime involving a teenager throwing a kitten. In December, another teen was caught on Snapchat in Southern California throwing a cat into the street.
[Photo: Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, Facebook]