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Commentary

Man Flees Cops with Tiger in Tow, Big Cat Escapes as He's Arrested in Connection to Murder Charge

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Houston is a fascinating city full of surprises. You never know what you are going to encounter on a given day.

One Twitter user provided an excellent illustration of that fact when he broke the story of a tiger wandering around his parents’ west Houston neighborhood.

WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.

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Local journalist Michael Schwab replied with another angle of the scene:

That alone would’ve been a wild story. A tiger wandering around a suburban neighborhood? But it gets weirder. KPRC-TV reported Monday that Victor Hugo Cuevas has been accused of somehow capturing the tiger, hauling it into his Jeep Cherokee and fleeing from police.

Cuevas was later arrested at his parents’ house in nearby Richmond and charged with felony evading arrest. The tiger, unfortunately, was nowhere to be found, and its whereabouts are currently unknown.

Oh, but that isn’t the end of this story.

As it turns out, Cuevas is out on bond (a nice sum of $750,000) in connection to a 2017 murder charge, in which he is accused of shooting a man outside of a Buffalo Wild Wings, KPRC reported.

Naturally, cat-napping a tiger and running from police constitutes a bond violation, which Cuevas was criminally charged for as well.

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His lawyer, Michael Elliot, is furious about the situation. But his fury is not directed at his wayward client but at the actions of the Houston Police Department.

“All [the department wants] to do is lock people up and presume them to be guilty, and let them try to figure it out later. It’s terrible,” Elliott told KPRC.

“Because my client was the one who caught this tiger, who went out and got it, brought it back to safety, everyone is just assuming that he’s the owner of the tiger and that it’s his tiger,” he added.

Do you think the tiger belongs to Cuevas?

Wait, what? The tiger does not belong to Cuevas?

Elliot’s claim would seem to imply that his client was wandering around a Houston neighborhood, saw a random tiger, thought to himself, “I must put that tiger in my Jeep Cherokee and take it to safety, as that would protect the community” and then proceed to flee from the first responders who could have, you know, helped.

Something isn’t adding up, especially since Elliot seems to know a lot about a tiger that supposedly doesn’t belong to his client. He told KPRC that the tiger is named India and is approximately 9 months old.

Elliot is as interested in finding the tiger as anyone. “I’ve given [the police department] information to try to work with them to try to find its owner, but they don’t even seem like they care,” he lamented. “All they want to do is put people in jail.”

Perhaps they do, but where Elliot and I seem to disagree is that I think putting cat-napping accused murderers in jail is a very good thing. Evidently, they are a threat to public safety.

Hopefully, India the tiger is found soon. The animal belongs in a zoo or a rescue, not wandering the streets of Houston.

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Garion Frankel is the senior policy advisor for the Texas Federation of College Republicans. He enjoys and has published articles and academic works on public policy, philosophy and political theory.
Garion Frankel is the senior policy advisor for the Texas Federation of College Republicans. He enjoys and has published articles and academic works on public policy, philosophy and political theory.
Languages Spoken
English, some Spanish




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