A California man has been arrested after video footage of him throwing a kitten into a lake surfaced on social media (video below).
The video was shot about a year ago, in 2017, the Daily Mail reported. It shows Garret Haile, who is now 18 years old, throwing a cat into a lake.
"Welcome to badass, and this is Felipe the flying cat," the person recording the video is heard saying while Haile grabs the small kitten by the neck and proceeds to forcefully throw it several feet ahead of him into a lake.
The kitten is seen flipping in the air before splashing into the water. It is unknown if the animal survived the attack.
The video began circulating on social media again at the end of January. Police were able to identify the Northern California high school student after the video went viral. They arrested Haile on Feb. 2.
"My heart, it just left my body," Nicole Pinheiro, who shared the video, told Fox 40. "And I showed my mom and she burst into tears. She was like, 'I can't believe that this is the world now.'"
Haile is facing charges of felony animal cruelty. He is expected to be charged as a minor because the incident is believed to have occurred when he was just 17. Police said whoever recorded the video may also be facing criminal charges.
"At 17, I still knew what I was doing. He knew what he was doing," Pinheiro said, adding that she just wants Haile to pay for his actions. "Even if he was just joking around or just trying to put something on Snapchat or whatever he was doing, it's wrong regardless. Regardless of if it's a year old or today, he still did it."
Authorities are currently investigating the area where Haile threw the kitten. Haile has since been released from police custody. It is unknown what his bail amount was.
Patterson Police Services Chief Jeff Dirkse said it is unclear if the kitten was thrown into a water-treatment plant or part of the Delta-Mendota Canal, The Modesto Bee reported. He added that the location of the incident could end up becoming a jurisdictional issue.
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s spokesman Royjindar Singh also revealed that they have arrested a 17-year-old male on suspicion of participating in a criminal conspiracy. The 17-year-old is believed to be the man who recorded the video, police said.