Murder suspect seen with tiger in west Houston arrested on evading charges

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Authorities have arrested the person who was seen taking in a tiger that was noticed roaming free in a Houston neighborhood on Sunday. That tiger has but to be positioned.

Multiple police sources recognized the person as 28-year-old Victor Cuevas. Cuevas, who’s presently 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. But 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. Instead, Cuevas’ lawyer stated Houston police picked him up at his mom’s home in Richmond and took him to the Fort Bend County jail.

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 night time.

“Fifteen minutes before he leaves to surrender, (HPD) go and arrest him, and the result is they get to keep him there for 10 days now,” stated Elliott.

Elliott stated the tiger just isn’t his shopper’s however that he is aware of the proprietor. He added that he and his shopper had been apparently working with authorities to find the tiger and the proprietor.

WATCH: ‘It’s not his tiger’ Attorney of alleged tiger proprietor says

“There’s a lot of misunderstandings and miscommunications and a lot of things put out there falsely that’s very troubling,” Elliott stated. “First off, The Houston Police Department here. I know they’re trying to do their job. Everyone wants to know about the tiger and their safety. Make no mistake, there’s no crime of having a tiger in the state of Texas.”

In the City of Houston, there’s an ordinance that claims you may’t have a tiger. But, as Elliott factors out, it’s a civil matter, not a prison matter.

On Sunday, Houston police responded to a name a few tiger in a neighbor’s entrance yard on Ivy Wall Drive, in the Highway 6 and Memorial space.

When officers arrived, the alleged proprietor was loading up the tiger in his Jeep.

“The owner put the tiger in a white SUV and drove off from the scene, there was a brief pursuit, and the man got away with the tiger,” stated HPD Commander Ron Borza, who focuses on animal abuse instances for the division. “My main concern right now is focused on finding him, and finding the tiger, because what I don’t want him to do is harm the tiger. We have plenty of places where we can take the tiger and he can spend the rest of his life.”

Video of the incident reveals off-duty Waller County Sheriff’s Sergeant Wes Manion coming to assistance from 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.

“An individual came out and said, ‘Don’t kill it, don’t kill it,'” recalled Manion, who additionally lives in the world. “I didn’t know who this individual was, told him to get in the house. He stated that was his tiger, and I instructed him to take his tiger back inside, which he did.”

HPD believes the person in 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.

Monday morning, each HPD’s Animal Cruelty Unit and Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) had been investigating the incident. A sweep of the home yielded no further animals.

However, 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 taking part in with a child bear, feeding it with a bottle, and giving the bear kisses in his residence. There are additionally movies of no less than two monkeys. Cuevas is seen taking one monkey with him whereas he was having dental work completed, and taking one other monkey to a comfort retailer, the place the clerk was not happy. In addition, a number of movies present Cuevas cuddling with a younger tiger.

Police say though it’s in opposition to metropolis regulation to maintain a tiger, this specific tiger does seem effectively 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 taking pictures at a strip buying middle in Fort Bend County. According to data, Cuevas is accused of taking pictures 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 shopper is updated on all court docket appearances because it pertains to the homicide cost.

Meanwhile, again in the west Houston neighborhood, Cuevas and his girlfriend are described as residing a quiet, pretty secluded life.

“They didn’t bother anybody,” neighbor Jorge Ramos stated. “They are very private, I have 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 notice one time, and this is something interesting, that I was walking by my driveway. There was a capuchin monkey that showed up in the window,” Ramos recalled. “I figured, ‘OK, this is a small animal. It could be domesticated.’ But I never thought they would hold a tiger in their house.”

Previous wild encounters in Houston

While Houston for probably the most half could also be a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis, we have had our fair proportion of tiger situations.

In May 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 charges. She advised ABC13 on the time that she had raised the tiger, whom she referred to as “Rajah,” since he was a cub. But as soon as Rajah began getting huge, 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 College Station and put the animal inside a buddy’s residence till the switch may very well be made. But another person discovered the tiger in the storage earlier than he may very well be moved.

The tiger was ultimately taken to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, the place he’s stated to be residing the remainder of his life.

FROM MAY 2019: Tiger owner arrested for leaving wild cat caged at vacant Houston house

Can you even personal unique animals in Texas or Houston metropolis limits?

We checked out this again in 2019 as effectively and located that, in Texas, house owners of “dangerous 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.

SEE ALSO: How did a cow end up on the East Freeway?

However, 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 is against the law.

Violations are misdemeanors punishable by fines of $500 to $2,000.

Texas’ exotic pet laws: The furry friends you can’t have in Houston

You can learn extra in regards to the legal guidelines pertaining to wild animals in Section IV of this website.

You may also discover extra on harmful wild animals from the Texas State Law Library.

TIMELINE: Houston area exotic pet incidents since 1998

Animal encounters: That time a gator was on the Fred Hartman bridge

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