Man Arrested For Kicking Kittens Across Grocery Store Parking Lot

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“At last he has been caught, I remember doing this story back in May. Lets hope he gets what he deserves; if he can do that to a kitten in public, what happens behind closed doors?”

AUSTIN — Austin police have arrested a man for kicking kittens and throwing them across a grocery store parking lot. Mark Sheldon Watson, 29, is charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals. That’s a state jail felony.

According to his arrest affidavit, on May 12, 2012, Watson came to the HEB located at 2110 W. Slaughter Lane with a box of kittens to give away. The box said “Free Kittens for Mother’s Day.” When store managers asked Watson to leave the property, police say he became angry and violent.

Witnesses watched as Watson kicked the box of kittens, then picked one up and threw it hard, 50-60 feet across the parking lot. That kitten did not survive, but its brother, Banjo, did. Banjo was taken to an animal shelter in Travis County.

The affidavit says HEB has surveillance video of the incident showing the kitten hitting the ground, then shaking uncontrollably.

Police say witnesses tried following Watson but he picked up a cinder block and hurled it at them.

Investigators tried tracking down Watson. They released surveillance video of him walking away from the store.

Police were unable to make an arrest until Sept. 10. That’s when a woman came forward and reported that Watson was showing her the TV news reports of the incident on a smartphone and bragging that he was the one responsible.

Austin police arrested Watson and charged him with a state jail felony. If convicted, he faces up to two years in state jail.

His bond has been set at $10,000.

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Kitten survives abuse incident at South Austin HEB – Video

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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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