Leon Teague is facing felony animal cruelty charges after he allegedly took video of himself throwing boiling water on a stray cat and then uploaded the footage to Facebook.
Teague, who lives in Chicago, was picked up on one felony count of animal torture and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty after a video allegedly showed him luring the black and white cat to his back porch and then tossing a pot of water that he had just boiled on a stovetop.
NBC Chicago reported that he was arrested within two days of the video showing up online.
The video started by showing the man boiling the pot of water and taking it to a window, where he tossed it onto he cat. The animal then howled in pain and scurried to escape, but became stuck on the porch. The man identified as Leon Teague can then be heard swearing at the cat and telling it to “never come back.”
The video was posted to Facebook on Tuesday evening and went viral almost instantly. It received tens of thousands of views on Facebook before being taken down, but someone had saved a copy and uploaded it to Vid.me, where it continued to gain attention. By the time it was posted on Reddit on Wednesday, the video had already gone viral and led to countless tips about the person who allegedly took it.
The video first believed to have been taken in South Carolina, and the Greenville Police Department reported that many people sent tips about where the video may have been filmed, WNCT reported.
The Greenville Police Department later shared an update on Facebook, saying that investigators were already tracking down the culprit, but that he may not have lived in the area.
“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.”
But investigators later determined that Leon Teague actually lives in Chicago, and he was picked up by Chicago police.
The case is reminiscent of another incident of animal abuse allegedly shared through Facebook. Last year, a Florida woman named Katie Brown allegedly wrapped duct tape around her dog’s mouth to punish the animal for too much barking, then snapped a picture and shared in on Facebook.
“I cant lie. [I] did it for sixty seconds. It was time out,” Brown wrote. “Dont panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn’t barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
But those looking at the pictures on Facebook didn’t take too kindly to the message and flooded police with calls and emails about the alleged abuse. They, in turn, arrested Brown for charges of animal cruelty.
Leon Teague is scheduled to appear Friday afternoon for charges that he threw boiling water on the cat in the viral video. Police said the cat was still alive in the area but ran away when officers tried to catch it.
[Image via Chicago Police Department]