A number of police sources recognized the person as 28-year-old Victor Cuevas. Cuevas, who’s at the moment out on bond on an unrelated homicide cost, is thought to own a number of unique animals.
The seek for Cuevas started Sunday after he evaded police. However on Monday, he was taken into custody to the Fort Bend County jail.
He was supposed to show himself in at 8:15 p.m. on the Harris County jail. As a substitute, Cuevas’ lawyer stated Houston police picked him up at his mom’s home in Richmond and took him to the Fort Bend County jail.
UPDATE #2: Victor Hugo Cuevas is in custody. The whereabouts of the tiger usually are not but recognized.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) Might 11, 2021
Cuevas is charged with felony evading arrest after allegedly fleeing from HPD Monday.
Cuevas’ lawyer, Michael Elliott, was livid as he talked to the media Monday evening.
“Fifteen minutes earlier than he leaves to give up, (HPD) go and arrest him, and the result’s they get to maintain him there for 10 days now,” stated Elliott.
Elliott stated the tiger shouldn’t be his consumer’s however that he is aware of the proprietor. He added that he and his consumer have been apparently working with authorities to find the tiger and the proprietor.
WATCH: ‘It isn’t his tiger’ Lawyer of alleged tiger proprietor says
“There’s a whole lot of misunderstandings and miscommunications and a whole lot of issues put on the market falsely that is very troubling,” Elliott stated. “First off, The Houston Police Division right here. I do know they’re attempting to do their job. Everybody desires to know concerning the tiger and their security. Make no mistake, there isn’t any crime of getting a tiger within the state of Texas.”
Within the Metropolis of Houston, there’s an ordinance that claims you’ll be able to’t have a tiger. However, as Elliott factors out, it’s a civil matter, not a legal matter.
On Sunday, Houston police responded to a name a couple of tiger in a neighbor’s entrance yard on Ivy Wall Drive, within the Freeway 6 and Memorial space.
When officers arrived, the alleged proprietor was loading up the tiger in his Jeep.
“The proprietor put the tiger in a white SUV and drove off from the scene, there was a quick pursuit, and the person acquired away with the tiger,” stated HPD Commander Ron Borza, who focuses on animal abuse circumstances for the division. “My essential concern proper now could be centered on discovering him, and discovering the tiger, as a result of what I do not need him to do is hurt the tiger. We’ve loads of locations the place we will take the tiger and he can spend the remainder of his life.”
Video of the incident exhibits off-duty Waller County Sheriff’s Sergeant Wes Manion coming to the help of his neighbors, and attempting to maintain the tiger at bay. Moments later, a person in a white shirt emerges from his home and grabs the tiger by what seems to be a collar.
“A person got here out and stated, ‘Do not kill it, do not kill it,'” recalled Manion, who additionally lives within the space. “I did not know who this particular person was, instructed him to get in the home. He said that was his tiger, and I instructed him to take his tiger again inside, which he did.”
HPD believes the person within the white shirt was Cuevas, who later put the tiger in his white Jeep Cherokee and fled from the house at a excessive charge of pace.
Our Animal Cruelty Unit, together with @BARC_Houston are at the moment investigating the incident wherein a tiger was seen at 1103 Ivy Wall Drive about 8 p.m. on Sunday (Might 9). The male proprietor was seen escorting the tiger to the residence then placing it into his car. 1/3
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) Might 10, 2021
Monday morning, each HPD’s Animal Cruelty Unit and Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) have been investigating the incident. A sweep of the home yielded no further animals.
Nonetheless, ABC13 reviewed a number of Instagram movies and footage on Cuevas’ account which indicated he’s no stranger to unique animals. The movies present him enjoying with a child bear, feeding it with a bottle, and giving the bear kisses in his residence. There are additionally movies of not less than two monkeys. Cuevas is seen taking one monkey with him whereas he was having dental work accomplished, and taking one other monkey to a comfort retailer, the place the clerk was not happy. As well as, a number of movies present Cuevas cuddling with a younger tiger.
Police say though it’s towards metropolis regulation to maintain a tiger, this explicit tiger does seem nicely fed.
WATCH: HPD reveals the tiger’s proprietor has been out on bond in a homicide case
The homicide cost tied to Cuevas includes an alleged capturing at a strip buying heart in Fort Bend County. In line with data, Cuevas is accused of capturing and killing a person in July 2017 and is out on a $125,000 bond.
ABC13 spoke with Cuevas’ legal professional on the matter. He stated his consumer is updated on all courtroom appearances because it pertains to the homicide cost.
In the meantime, again within the west Houston neighborhood, Cuevas and his girlfriend are described as dwelling a quiet, pretty secluded life.
“They did not trouble anyone,” neighbor Jorge Ramos stated. “They’re very non-public, I’ve to say.”
He stated this isn’t the primary time he is seen a wild animal on the residence.
WATCH: Neighbor as soon as noticed monkey at residence the place tiger was seen roaming
“I did discover one time, and that is one thing attention-grabbing, that I used to be strolling by my driveway. There was a capuchin monkey that confirmed up within the window,” Ramos recalled. “I figured, ‘OK, it is a small animal. It could possibly be domesticated.’ However I by no means thought they’d maintain a tiger of their home.”
Earlier wild encounters in Houston
Whereas Houston for probably the most half could also be a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis, we have had our justifiable share of tiger cases.
In Might 2019, a tiger was discovered caged in a southwest Houston storage.
Houston police arrested the previous proprietor, Brittany Garza, who on the time confronted animal cruelty expenses. She instructed ABC13 on the time that she had raised the tiger, whom she known as “Rajah,” since he was a cub. However as soon as Rajah began getting massive, she knew it was time to search out him a brand new place to reside.
Garza claimed two years in the past that she had made preparations with a sanctuary in School Station and put the animal inside a good friend’s residence till the switch could possibly be made. However another person discovered the tiger within the storage earlier than he could possibly be moved.
The tiger was ultimately taken to Cleveland Amory Black Magnificence Ranch in Murchison, Texas, the place he’s stated to be dwelling the remainder of his life.
Are you able to even personal unique animals in Texas or Houston metropolis limits?
We checked out this again in 2019 as nicely and located that, in Texas, house owners of “harmful wild animals” should register with their municipality or county animal workplace or sheriff.
A harmful animal features a lion, tiger, ocelot, cougar, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, bobcat, lynx, serval, caracal, hyena, bear, coyote, jackal, baboon, chimpanzee, orangutan and gorilla.
Nonetheless, municipalities may also ban possession of those animals.
And for anybody hoping to personal a harmful wild animal in Houston metropolis limits, no can do. It’s unlawful.
Violations are misdemeanors punishable by fines of $500 to $2,000.
You’ll be able to learn extra concerning the legal guidelines pertaining to wild animals in Part IV of this web site.
You too can discover extra on harmful wild animals from the Texas State Legislation Library.
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