A California teen is facing a felony animal cruelty charge and heavy online criticism following a video that surfaced showing him throwing a cat into a body of water.
18-year-old Garrett Haile, a high school senior from Patterson, California was arrested February 2 after the video began circulating online. The video is thought to have been filmed about a year ago.
In the 11-second clip, a person recording the shocking event can be heard saying, “Welcome to badass, and this is Felipe the flying cat.” Haile can then be seen lifting the cat by the scruff of its neck before hurling it into what appears to be a lake.
Patterson Police stated in a press release that the video was “posted in a private Facebook group page for local residents.”
“During the overnight hours, deputies continued their investigation and were able to identify the subject as 18-year old Garratt Haile of Patterson,” the release stated. “Deputies were able to contact Garratt at his residence and interview him. Garratt was arrested this morning at about 8:00 AM and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for felony animal cruelty. It is believed this incident occurred several months ago and that several other subjects were with Garratt at the time the video was recorded. Detectives are still investigating this incident to identify other subjects and the location where the incident took place.
“This is an excellent example of the public’s cooperation and we certainly appreciate it,” said Patterson Police Services Chief Jeff Dirkse. “With calls we received and the information shared to us via social media, we were able to quickly investigate, identify, and make an arrest in this case.”
Because the incident apparently occurred when Haile was 17, authorities expect that he will be charged as a minor. Many believe the incident deserves a far harsher punishment, and they are taking those thoughts to social media.
Dale Lowery wrote, “He should be tied up, cement blocks tied to his legs and dropped out in the ocean. Then see how he likes it.”
“He needs to have Both Hands CUT OFF !!!!,” Patricia Lamson stated.
If the incident did indeed occur approximately one year ago, the timing aligns with another California teen who was under fire after throwing a cat onto pavement: