AUSTINAustin Police Department Animal Control officers are looking for a man accused of kicking and throwing kittens outside an Austin grocery store.

Officers were called to the HEB at Slaughter and Manchaca Sunday afternoon. Witnesses say the man was trying to give two kittens away for free when an HEB manager asked him to leave.

“I asked him to leave. He then kicked a box of kittens and threw one about 50 feet,” said an HEB employee to 911 dispatchers.

A witness says she saw the man become angry and kick the box holding the two kittens. She says he then picked up an orange and white kitten and threw it approximately 50 feet across the parking lot. The kitten did not survive.

“It was horrifying. Everyone in the parking lot was screaming,” said a witness who doesn’t want to be identified, for fear of retaliation.

“It just never ceases to amaze me what we run into; no telling what state of mind this guys was in. It could be a state jail felony,” said Animal Control Officer Alan Schwettmann.

The other kitten is being cared for by Austin Animal Control. Veterinarians say he’s about five weeks old and seems to be in good condition.

The anonymous witness plans to adopt the kitten and hopes two things come from this incident. “First of all that he’s caught and second [that] people realize how important it is to report animal cruelty,” she said.

Animal Control officers say the man is facing animal cruelty charges.

911 callers say the man was last seen heading north on Manchaca, running away from Slaughter Lane. Witnesses say he is black and was wearing a green T-shirt, blue jean shorts and white tennis shoes. He was with another black man who was wearing a black T-shirt and white baseball cap. HEB managers say both looked like they were in their early 20s.

There is a $700 reward for information that leads to an arrest. You can call in tips to 472-TIPS.

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