A man who was seen throwing a pot of boiling water on a cat in a disturbing viral video could wind up behind bars for a long time for the stunt.
The video showed up on Facebook this week and was allegedly shot in Greenville, North Carolina. The video starts with a shot of water boiling on a stove, then shows the man who was holding the camera pick up the pot and carry it to a window, where a black and white cat is sitting near a window ledge.
The man then throws the pot of boiling water onto the cat, which yelps in pain as it scurries off the man’s deck. A second voice could be heard in the background encouraging the man to throw the boiling water onto the cat.
Though the video was quickly deleted from Facebook, at least one user was able to save a copy and uploaded it to the site Vid.me, where it has more than 20,000 views. It was also uploaded to Reddit, where many people worked to identify where it may have taken place.
Police are on the man’s trail as well. WNCT reported that the Greenville Police Department has received a number of tips about the viral video and is trying to determine exactly where it was filmed. Investigators are also trying to find the injured cat to determine the severity of its injuries.
The Greenville Police Department shared an update on the investigation on its Facebook page:
“We wanted to reassure everyone that we have taken this video seriously. Very early this morning, we were able to determine that the individual who posted this video does NOT live in Greenville; however, it’s possible he visits this area. Early this morning, our telecommunicators were able to identify an address for him in Martin County. They immediately notified authorities with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, who located him a little after 8:00 AM today. Our detectives are currently in Martin County, working with members of the Martin County Sheriff’s office, to interview the individual who posted this video. We would like to reiterate that no one has been arrested at this point. We are still in the very preliminary stages of an investigation. Detectives have not yet determined who the person is in the video, where this occurred, or IF this occurred in Eastern North Carolina.”
The video of the man throwing boiling water on the cat would not be the first time that someone has gotten into trouble by posting images of animal cruelty onto Facebook. Late last year, Florida woman Katie Brown allegedly wrapped duct tape around her dog’s mouth when the animal would not stop barking.
“I cant lie. [I] did it for sixty seconds. It was time out,” Brown explained. “Dont panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn’t barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
The pictures went viral, and like this week’s case thousands of people called the local police to alert them of the apparent animal cruelty. The calls and emails led to a police investigation and eventually charges against Brown for animal cruelty.
Police said if the video is verified, the person who threw the boiling water on the cat could face felony animal cruelty charges.
Video of the man throwing boiling water onto the cat can be seen here, but be warned that it is disturbing and not appropriate for more sensitive viewers.
[Picture by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]