A video posted on Facebook showing a person throwing scalding water on a cat went viral earlier this week. It triggered worldwide outrage. Now it has led to the arrest of a Chicago teenager.
Leon Teague, 18, was charged with a felony count of animal torture and a misdemeanor count of depicting animal cruelty, according to the Chicago Police Department. Teague posted video to Facebook on Tuesday night showing him luring a cat onto his porch and throwing boiling water at it, police said in a statement.
“The cat … ran from one end of the porch to the other screaming in pain,” the police report reads, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
At a Friday bail hearing, a state attorney said that Teague told police who visited him at his house that he knew they were there because of the video.
“If you think I did it, lock me up. S—,” he reportedly said, according to the Sun-Times. “I know the system. If I admit to this, I’m going to jail. Glock Boy MurDoc is my Facebook name and people come in and out of my apartment all the time.”
The vertically shot video opens over a pot of boiling water on a stove with a cat’s meowing audible in the background.
“Open the window,” a man, who is never seen, says as he picks up the pot and walks it to the window. Once it is opened, he begins shouting expletives and waving the pot at a black and white cat, which is sitting on the outside window sill.
“B—-. Move, move! Get the f— away,” he says before apparently dropping the camera briefly.
As the camera’s focus returns to the cat, someone — a woman can be heard in the video, too — begins making clicking sounds at the animal, which is now on the ground next to what appears to be a blue litter box.
The water, steam billowing, is then thrown at the cat.
“Get the f— from over here, b—-,” the man says. “Don’t come back.”
The video initially prompted a search in North Carolina, where a 17-year-old boy downloaded and reposted the video, which the Greenville, N.C., police department noted is not a crime.
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“The 17-year-old and his family received threats from people all over the world because he made the unfortunate decision to repost this video,” the police department said in a Facebook post. “He has expressed regret. … this is an excellent reminder to not be too quick to judge a situation or come to conclusions before a thorough investigation is complete.”
Police in Chicago found the black and white cat near Teague’s residence earlier this week, but were not able to capture it, the Sun-Times reported. A pair of Chicagoans working with police succeeded at rescuing it on Friday night, though, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“His fur is singed and he has burns on him,” said Heather Weidman, who teamed up with her friend Melissa Belice, to rescue the cat. “He’s got scabbing, but he’s very friendly, and he’s in great spirits.”
Weidman told the Tribune that she is still determining a name for the cat, which is in a city shelter now and will be transported to another shelter on Monday. “For everything that he’s been through, to still come up and let us touch him and pet him, he’s pretty damn special,” she said.