Houston residents first noticed the big cat outside on Sunday

By Ashley Boucher
May 10, 2021 09:13 PM
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Victor Hugo Cuevas
Victor Hugo Cuevas
| Credit: HPD

A Houston man is wanted after his pet tiger was spotted outside in a city neighborhood.

Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, has been charged with felony evading arrest after he allegedly fled Houston Police Department patrol officers Monday morning, police said in a Twitter statement.

Neighbors first noticed the tiger roaming around a front yard on Sunday.

"I believe the NextDoor app notice went out, and an off-duty deputy came to the house and confronted the owner of the tiger," HPD Commander Ron Borza said in a press conference earlier on Monday.

There was a "brief confrontation about the tiger being out in public, which is against city ordinance to have a tiger here in the city of Houston. The owner of the tiger took the tiger back into the residence."

The HPD later arrived at the house, and Cuevas allegedly put the tiger in a white Jeep Cherokee and fled the scene, Borza said. He added later in the press conference that the suspect also owns two monkeys, which are legal in Houston if they weigh under 30 lbs., and that it was unclear if Cuevas had the monkeys with him.

"There was a brief pursuit, and the man got away with the tiger," he said. "We are actively looking for him today."

Cuevas is currently out on a $250,000 bond for a 2020 murder charge.

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"My main concern right now is focusing on finding him and finding the tiger, because what I don't want him to do is harm the tiger. We have plenty of places we could take that tiger and keep it safe and give it a home for the rest of its life."

Borza said that the investigation is still in its "preliminary" stages and is ongoing. Anyone who sees Cuevas is encouraged to call at 713-222-TIPS.

"Obviously, if you see a Cherokee with a big tiger in it, you need to call us," Borza said.

Legal representation for Cuevas could not immediately be identified by PEOPLE. It is not clear if Cuevas had entered a plea for his 2020 murder charge.