Man in custody after tiger spotted walking around front yard in a Houston neighborhood

·2 min read

A Texas man accused of evading police after a pet tiger was seen crawling in a front yard is now in custody.

Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was taken into custody Monday, but the tiger's whereabouts is still unknown, the Houston Police Department shared on Twitter Monday evening.

On Sunday, a video of a tiger in a Houston neighborhood went viral after a neighbor noticed the feline had a collar.

“It’s someone’s pet,” someone in the video said.

Police said an off-duty sheriff's deputy confronted the owner of the tiger before officers arrived. Cuevas allegedly put the tiger in a white SUV and fled the scene at a high rate of speed.

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Michael W. Elliott, Cuevas’s attorney, proposed Cuevas may not be the owner of the tiger or was taking care of it, according to the Associated Press.

“People are making a lot of assumptions in this particular case. Maybe he might be the hero out there who caught the tiger that was in the neighborhood,” Elliott told the Associated Press.

Police said Cuevas was leasing the home where the tiger was seen and believe he may also have monkeys, which is not a violation of a Houston ordinance if they are under 30 pounds. Exotic animals, like a tiger, however are.

Cuevas was out on bond in an unrelated case for a 2017 fatal shooting of a man outside a restaurant in neighboring Fort Bend County, the AP.

"I am sure he raised it since it was a cub which is my assumption," Houston police Cmdr. Ron Borza said during a news conference Monday. "But you can't have big animals because they're unpredictable."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Victor Cuevas in custody after tiger was loose in Houston neighborhood