Texas is in the news again this week after a Houston suburb was flipped on a dime when a striped Bengal Tiger was found perusing its owner’s front lawn by an off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy. Video shows the owner attempting to corral the tiger while the sheriff’s deputy keeps his gun focused on the tiger.
The intense situation ended with the tiger’s owner in custody, but the tiger’s whereabouts are unknown. Police identified the tiger’s owner as 26-year-old Victor Hugo Cuevas. Cuevas was charged with felony evading police after allegedly fleeing the scene with the tiger.
Houston PD told the press that Cuevas was out on bail for a murder in Fort Bend County, Texas, back in 2017. Cuevas is accused of fatally shooting someone at a sushi restaurant. He was charged in 2020 but was freed after posting his $250,000 bail.
Maria Torres spoke with ABC about filming the incident near Ivy Wall Dr in a west Houston neighborhood. Torres went looking for the tiger after receiving a notification of his presence nearby on the security app.
Authorities are searching for a man whose tiger was found wandering around a neighborhood in Houston.
An armed off-duty sheriff's deputy told the man to take his tiger inside before the caretaker rushed the tiger away in a white car as police arrived. https://t.co/sWxvaHUwpZ pic.twitter.com/CNgmJhspyY
— ABC News (@ABC) May 10, 2021
She said, “At first, we thought the tiger was walking toward the guys to attack, but we realized that he was just trying to go across the street to the house where they were keeping him.”
Torres said that she was “glad” the tiger was shot. But, she questioned, “how do you not realize that your pet tiger is missing?”
A spokesman for the Houston Police Department, Victor Senties, told ABC that “witnesses claimed they were driving by the residence and they see what they describe as a Bengal tiger sitting on the front lawn.” He said that Houston PD began receiving sightings of the tiger around 8:00 p.m. Sunday.
He said, “[The deputy] somehow gets notified or gets wind of what’s going on, and he ends up going to the scene, and he’s trying to maintain safety out there and keep everybody back and make sure everything’s OK.”
“The owner of the tiger then takes the tiger and puts it inside his white Jeep Cherokee, gets in the car, and he flees. Our responding units see the vehicle fleeing, and they try to initiate a vehicle pursuit, but they lose sight of the vehicle,” said Victor Senties.
Senties said that Cuevas had other rare animals in the home – two monkeys. He explained that, unlike the tiger, the monkeys are legally available to be owned as pets in Houston if the animal stays under 30 pounds.
The location of the tiger and the two monkeys is unknown.