A Patterson High School senior who turned 18 this week was booked Friday morning on a felony animal cruelty charge after video showed him hurling a kitten into a body of water.
The incident apparently occurred about a year ago, but the video recently surfaced or resurfaced and spread over the Internet, said Patterson Police Services Chief Jeff Dirkse.
In the video, the person filming can be heard to say, "Welcome to badass, and this is Felipe the flying cat." At that point, the young man on camera, identified by police as Garrett Haile, takes the cat by the scruff of the neck and throws it far into the water.
The camera operator, believed to be a classmate of Haile's, also would face an animal cruelty charge, Dirkse said. Deputies were working Friday morning to positively identify and locate that person.
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Because the incident happened a year ago, the chief said he expects that Haile would be prosecuted as a minor.
It had not yet been determined Friday morning where the video originally was posted and where the incident happened. Dirkse speculated that the body of water shown could be at a water-treatment plant or part of the Delta-Mendota Canal. However, if it's learned the incident happened outside the county, it could become a jurisdictional issue, he said.
Haile has played football and golf for Patterson High and participated in the school's FFA program. He was on an FFA welding team that placed first in a Stockton competition two years ago, according to the Patterson Irrigator.
We'll have more on this story as information is available.