A northeast Ohio teen has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after a video allegedly showing him kicking a stray cat went viral on the Internet.
Tre'vonte Mitchell, 18, was arrested Wednesday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. He could face six months in jail if convicted. According to the newspaper, he is set to appear Friday in Akron Municipal Court on a first-degree misdemeanor charge.
The CleveScene.com website reported that the video shows Mitchell standing next to the cat before turning and punting it more than 3 feet. The cat lands, then runs away. As Mitchell laughs, another man mumbles, "Ohhh sh--, ohhh, ohhh, sh--" off screen.
Police say Mitchell admitted to assaulting the cat Aug. 6 while he and a friend, Roy Hill, were walking around a neighborhood near the University of Akron. Hill allegedly recorded the kick and put it on his Facebook page, according to Cleveland's NewsNet5.
The incident sparked outrage from thousands of Internet users, including the Ohio Animal Abuser List, which shared the video on its Facebook page to raise awareness, according to CleveScene.com. (Note: The video is disturbing.)
The video got thousands of shares on the Internet and eventually prompted a police and Humane Society investigation.
"We take animal cruelty cases like this very seriously," Akron Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli told NewsNet 5 before the arrest.
Police told the Journal that Mitchell has expressed remorse for the incident. If convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
After the arrest, Zampelli told NewsNet 5 that he expects Mitchell to receive no jail time, but he may be asked to pay a fine and perform some community service, possibly with animals.
Contributing: The Associated Press