WARNING: FOOTAGE MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
There is no excuse and no justification for animal cruelty, but sometimes, there is justice. A disturbing viral video led to the arrest of a California teen who was filmed throwing a tiny kitten into a lake while making a mockery of the helpless animal. The video was taken by his friends and originally posted on a private Facebook page, but thanks to the diligence of social media users and the local police, Garratt Haile, now 19, was eventually apprehended.
PRESS RELEASE 7:00 PM, February 2, 2018Online Video Leads to Arrest of Teenager for Animal Cruelty Patterson, CA –…
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department reported that Haile, of Patterson in California, was arrested after several people identified him as the person throwing the kitten. The man was 17 years old when the video was shot.
In the incredibly callous and disturbing scene, Haile grins and holds the kitten by the scruff of the neck before declaring, “This is Felipe the flying cat!” He then hurls the animal high into the air, its limbs flailing as it flips and turns before crashing into the water. Authorities still do not know exactly where the footage was shot.
Additionally, nobody knows whether or not the kitten survived, but it is unlikely.
One person who fervently hoped that the kitten made it out alive is Nicole Pinheiro, who found Haile’s video online and shared it in order to increase public awareness of his crime. “My heart, it just left my body,” Pinheiro told FOX40 Sacramento. “I showed my mom and she burst into tears. She was like, ‘I can’t believe that this is the world now.'”
According to Oklahoma’s News 4, cops say that since Pinheiro’s sharing of the video, the horrific footage has been viewed and passed on “hundreds of times.” To date, that figure could easily be quadrupled; Haile’s video and the ensuing explosion of public outrage went viral.
Haile was arrested before school on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, and was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on a felony animal cruelty charge. Investigators in Stanislaus County attribute their success in locating and arresting the Patterson High School student to people sharing the viral video.
“At 17, I still knew what I was doing,” Pinheiro shared, discrediting Haile’s youth as justification for his actions. “He knew what he was doing,” she continued, adding that Haile should have faced charges as an adult, not a minor. “Regardless of if it’s a year old or today, he still did it.” An update from May of 2019 indicates that Haile was eventually charged as a minor and released on bail of an unknown amount. It’s safe to say, however, that despite his reduced charge, he is not likely to be absolved of his crime by his community any time soon.
Thank you to everyone who contacted us regarding the disturbing video of the person throwing the cat into the water. The…
The teen who recorded the original video may also face charges but has not yet been identified.
Patterson Police Services thanked the public for their assistance on their Facebook page: “While this is clearly a serious issue,” they began, “it is also an excellent example of the public’s cooperation and we certainly appreciate it. It helps us quickly investigate and resolve crimes.” They signed off with a plea for continued community efforts: “Please continue to help us by reporting any gang or other suspicious activity as quickly as possible,” they said.
It’s a story of two halves. While senseless animal cruelty does exist, so does the collective moral consciousness of the general public, and for that we must remain grateful. Animals do not have a voice, so when it comes to acts of cruelty, we have to do the fighting for them.
Thumbanail Credit: Video Screenshot | FOX40