Police seek murder accused after his tiger found wandering in Houston

Police Seek Murder Accused After His Tiger Found Wandering In Houston
Tiger walks, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Juan A Lozano, Associated Press

Authorities were searching for a man accused of murder whose tiger was found wandering around a residential area in Houston.

Police in Texas said they have video showing the tiger encountering an armed off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy, who can be heard yelling at Victor Cuevas, who police believe is the animal’s owner, to get the animal inside.

When officers arrived, 26-year-old Cuevas put the animal in a white Jeep Cherokee and drove off, Houston Police commander Ron Borza said, adding that Cuevas got away after a brief pursuit and was subsequently charged with evading arrest.

“My main concern right now is focusing on finding him and finding the tiger because what I don’t want him to do is harm that tiger. We have plenty of places we can take that tiger and keep it safe and give it a home for the rest of its life,” Mr Borza said.

Cuevas’ attorney, Michael W Elliott, said once he verifies that police have filed a charge in the case he will arrange for his client to turn himself in.

But Mr Elliott said he didn’t think Cuevas was the owner of the tiger or that he was taking care of the animal.

The lawyer also said it was unclear to him if Cuevas was the person seen on videos of the incident.

“People are making a lot of assumptions in this particular case. Maybe he might be the hero out there who caught the tiger that was in the neighbourhood,” Mr Elliott said.

Cuevas was charged with murder in a 2017 fatal shooting of a man outside a restaurant in neighbouring Fort Bend County and was out on bail.

Mr Elliott said Cuevas has maintained the shooting was self-defence and is innocent of the murder charge.

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