In a turn of events that seems like it has to be a joke but which we assure you is the absolute truth, a Houston murder suspect home on bond has been re-taken into custody after his pet tiger got loose.
Only problem is, the tiger is now nowhere to be found, presumably off stalking prey somewhere around Houston.
This bizarre story unfolded over the weekend in West Houston. As you can see in this video clip, it all began when the tiger was seen by multiple neighbors just stalking around the suburban setting like it belonged there.
Apparently there's a tiger loose on my parents' West Houston street? https://t.co/TgdIiPSPKx— robwormald (@robwormald) 1620613311.0
The suspect, Victor Hugo Cuevas, who is charged with murder following a 2017 shooting he claims was in self-defense, is now back in police custody. But for a while on Sunday night, he briefly evaded police pursuit after fleeing with the tiger, who were called in response to neighbors who spotted the tiger walking around Cuevas's front yard.
Another video clips hows a stand-off that ensued between the tiger and an off-duty sheriff's deputy from nearby Waller County who lives in the neighborhood.
As the deputy trained his weapon on the tiger, a person believed to be Cuevas came out of the house to retrieve the animal, whereupon the sheriff's deputy yelled some unintentionally hilarious instructions at the man.
"Get the f*ck back inside! F*ck you and your f*cking tiger!"
When police arrived shortly thereafter, Cuevas packed the tiger into a white Jeep Cherokee and drove off. After a chase, he was apprehended, but the tiger is nowhere to be found. In a press conference, Houston police Commander Ron Borza said the tiger's safety is among his department's chief concerns at this time.
It is not illegal to own a tiger in Houston, but the owner must be a licensed exotic animals handler. It's unknown if Cuevas, who also owns two monkeys, holds such a credential, but his lawyer doesn't believe that the tiger belongs to him.
As he put it in a statement:
"Maybe he might be the hero out there who caught the tiger that was in the neighborhood."
Of course, the internet has had a field day with this bizarre story.
Nothin to see here, just a Tiger loose in Houston. https://t.co/NKyIF3QGR8— Doug Gottlieb (@Doug Gottlieb) 1620617473.0
Oh nothing - just a loose tiger in a Houston, Texas neighborhood... https://t.co/M3uE1BbkTa— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@Rex Chapman🏇🏼) 1620617108.0
Houston’s own Tiger King https://t.co/PaerPWvRD8— Larry FooteSack (@Larry FooteSack) 1620619024.0
Also I lost my Tiger in Houston. Please let me know if you find it.— Rich O'Toole (@Rich O'Toole) 1620662380.0
He got the tiger back into the SUV and fled the scene.... Totally reasonable normal thing to happen on a Sunday...… https://t.co/GDZuLHhHHb— R.A. Smith (@R.A. Smith) 1620618381.0
Where does one stash a tiger on short notice? https://t.co/xvEA8kUgZI— Brian Beutler (@Brian Beutler) 1620728743.0
Tiger Tiger you are neat Walking in the Houston street What suburban hand or arm Will keep you safe from Tiger harm?— Evan (@Evan) 1620735807.0
Borza also warned Houstonians against owning tigers because they are "unpredictable." Good to know!