HOUSTON - Police say the owner of a tiger seen walking around in west Houston, Victor Hugo Cuevas was arrested in Fort Bend County. His attorney says he was going to turn himself in this evening at the Harris County Jail.
His attorney tells FOX 26 the roaming tiger is not his client’s and he doesn’t know where the tiger is now.
On May 9, an encounter between an off-duty Waller County deputy was caught on video around 8 p.m. on Ivy Wall Drive near Riverlace Drive.
The deputy reported that several neighbors notified him about a tiger on the loose, and he found the tiger lying in the grass in front of a home.
Video shows the deputy, who says he was trying to protect the community, with his pistol drawn as the tiger walks toward him.
Police say the owner of the tiger, 26-year-old Victor Cuevas, was then seen escorting the tiger into a home and later put it into his vehicle. The vehicle is described as a white Jeep Cherokee with paper plates.
As officers arrived at the scene, police say the Cuevas drove away and there was a brief pursuit. Officers lost sight of him.
Cuevas bonded out of jail in December on a murder charge for shooting and killing a man in 2017 in Fort Bend County, according to court records.
The HPD Major Offenders Division, Animal Cruelty Unit and BARC are investigating.
Houston does not allow tigers in city limits except in specific cases, such as at an accredited public zoo.
This is not the first time a tiger has been found in Houston. In 2019, police and BARC were alerted to a report of a tiger inside a southeast Houston home after someone called 311 anonymously. The tiger was taken to an animal sanctuary.