HOUSTON – A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty by torture after he was seen on surveillance video violently throwing and hitting a cat at an apartment pool.
The charge is a felony.
Authorities said Javonte Darion Alexander is seen in the video at the pool area of the City Station Apartment Homes complex in the 900 block of Cypress Station Drive on Sept. 7.
A caller alerted the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to the existence of the video on Sept. 25.
In the video, authorities said Alexander is seen picking up a cat and violently throwing it into the pool. The video also shows Alexander repeatedly strike the cat in the head with his shoe and hand as the cat tried to get out of the pool, investigators said.
Authorities said later in the video, Alexander is seen holding the cat under water. At the end of the video, officials said Alexander is seen leaving the pool area with the cat, which appeared to be dead or unconscious.
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“This video is difficult to watch,” Constable Alan Rosen said. “Anyone who tortures an animal should be held accountable. This cat was defenseless. Our society should not stand for such cruelty to animals.”
After seeing the video, the apartment complex notified Alexander that he had three days to "vacate the premises for criminal activity," according to court documents. When served the notice, according to court documents, Alexander told the apartment complex staff, "I had problems with that cat in the past, and that's why I did what I did. This is not the same cat in my apartment." Alexander made the statement, even though apartment management never asked questions about the incident or the cat when serving the notice, according to court records.
Alexander posted a $10,000 bond. His charge of animal torture is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Authorities said Alexander may be responsible for other instances of animal abuse. Anyone who recognizes him, or knows about any other cases he may have been involved in is asked to call the Precinct One Animal Cruelty Hotline at 832-927-1659.
Animal cruelty of any kind can also be reported by calling the HSPCA animal cruelty tip line at 713-869-7722.