HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities on Monday have been looking for a Texas man whose tiger was discovered wandering round a residential space in Houston and who was out on bond on a homicide cost.
Video of the Sunday evening encounter exhibits the tiger coming face-to-face with an armed off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy, police mentioned. Through the encounter, the deputy may be heard yelling at Victor Cuevas, who police consider is the tiger’s proprietor, to get the animal again inside.
No photographs have been fired.
When officers arrived, Cuevas put the animal in a white Jeep Cherokee and drove off, Houston police Cmdr. Ron Borza mentioned throughout a information convention Monday. Cuevas bought away after a quick pursuit, he mentioned. Police on Monday afternoon charged Cuevas with evading arrest, a felony.
“My major concern proper now’s specializing in discovering him and discovering the tiger as a result of what I don’t need him to do is hurt that tiger. We’ve loads of locations we will take that tiger and hold it secure and provides it a house for the remainder of its life,” Borza mentioned.
Cuevas’ lawyer, Michael W. Elliott, mentioned as soon as he verifies that police have filed a cost within the case, he’ll organize for his shopper to show himself in.
However Elliott mentioned he did not suppose Cuevas was the proprietor of the tiger or that he was taking good care of the animal. The lawyer additionally mentioned it was unclear to him if Cuevas was the individual seen on movies of the incident.
“Persons are making a variety of assumptions on this specific case. Perhaps he could be the hero on the market who caught the tiger that was within the neighborhood,” Elliott mentioned.
Cuevas was charged with homicide in a 2017 deadly capturing of a person outdoors a restaurant in neighboring Fort Bend County and was out on bond. Elliott mentioned Cuevas has maintained the capturing was self-defense and is harmless of the homicide cost.
Cuevas additionally apparently had two monkeys within the residence, Borza mentioned.
Having a monkey shouldn’t be unlawful in Houston if the animal is beneath 30 kilos (13.5 kilograms). Tigers are usually not allowed inside Houston metropolis limits until the handler, akin to a zoo, is licensed to have unique animals. Texas has no statewide regulation forbidding non-public possession of tigers and different unique animals.
In 2019, some individuals who went into an deserted Houston residence to smoke marijuana discovered a caged tiger. The tiger’s proprietor was later ordered to pay for the animal’s care at an East Texas wildlife refuge.
“Personal residents and emergency responders mustn’t have to come back nose to nose with a lion or a tiger in a disaster,” mentioned Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Motion, a Washington, D.C.-based animal rights group. “These animals belong within the wild or in respected sanctuaries or zoos and nowhere else.”
Borza mentioned residents mustn’t have such animals as a result of they are often unpredictable.
“If that tiger was to get out and begin performing some injury yesterday, I’m certain considered one of these residents would have shot the tiger. We’ve loads of neighbors out right here with weapons and we don’t wish to see that. It’s not the animal’s fault. It’s the breeder’s fault. It’s unacceptable,” he mentioned.