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A Tiger Is Still Missing After Being Seen with Murder Defendant in Confrontation with Off-Duty Deputy in Texas


A tiger is still unaccounted for after a murder defendant was seen with the animal amid a confrontation with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy. Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was arrested for felony evading arrest, Houston police announced Monday night. The big cat remains in the wind.

As seen on video, there a tiger was just chilling on a residential Houston street. The awe-inspiring species’ presence out in a Texas neighborhood caused a bit of chaos.

A man can be seen on video below pointing a handgun at the animal, which was approaching him. No shots were fired, however.

“Get the fuck back inside,” said a man in the video. “Fuck you and your fucking tiger.”

Another man said in reply that he would get the animal.

The man with the gun was off-duty Waller County Sheriff’s Deputy Wes Manion, according to KHOU. He told the outlet that a neighbor called out to him not to shoot the tiger.

“Last thing I wanted to do was shoot the tiger,” he said. “It didn’t seem super-aggressive.”

In his account, the deputy told a man to bring the tiger inside. Neighbors said that they witnessed this individual putting the tiger in his SUV and driving off before police arrived.

That’s how police described the scene in posts on Monday. They said the tiger’s male owner escorted the cat inside the residence, but put the animal in a white Jeep Cherokee, speeding off to successfully flee from pursuing officers.

That was allegedly Cuevas, who Houston police Commander Ron Borza said is out on a $250,000 bond for an unrelated murder case in Fort Bend Countty.

While Cuevas is now in custody, the big cat is not.

Cuevas attorney Michael Elliott lambasted Houston police in a press conference on Monday night. He said cops went back on their word, arresting his client early before Cuevas was able to surrender under an agreement with police.

The attorney denied that the defendant was the owner of the tiger, and he said they had been working with authorities to give information on the real owner. Elliott did not discuss what this information was, but he said he did not know how well his client knew the other person. He said it was not a criminal matter to have a tiger in Texas, and only a violation of a civil ordinance in Houston.

Elliott claimed police were rushing through the investigation.

“They just assumed because my client was the one who caught this tiger, who went out and got it, brought it back into safety, that everyone is just assuming that he’s the owner of the tiger,” he said. “That it’s his tiger. And they are also assuming that my client is the one who put this tiger in some vehicle and took it away and maybe did something nefarious with it.”

[Mugshot of Cuevas via Houston Police Department; screengrab of the tiger via @robwormald on Twitter]

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