Florida teen who threw rock at kitten arrested, deputies say

Video of incident was posted on social media

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A teen seen in a social media video throwing a rock at a kitten, severely injuring the animal, has been arrested, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

The video sparked outrage on social media. Marie Braithwaite is one of the determined social media users who said a girl who saw it on Snapchat is to thank for bringing it to the public's attention.

"She is the one who actually recorded the video off of Snapchat, and she took a huge risk to do that, but it was the right thing. It's because of her post that brought the situation to light," Braithwaite said.

Deputies said the video showed a 15-year-old boy lifting a large rock over his head and throwing it at a 3- to 4-month-old kitten that was at the base of a tree near Northwest 40th Street. When animal control officers found the kitten, it was bleeding from the nose.

"Unbelievable. I didn't have words, honestly, and to find any type of delight in doing something like that was absolutely disturbing to me," Braithwaite said.

The cat is at Marion County Animal Services receiving care for severe facial trauma, and it now has difficulty walking as a result of the injuries, according to the report.

Deputies said the teen in the video turned himself in Thursday.

“It is truly disturbing that an individual would even think of doing something like this, and the suspect being a juvenile makes it even more shocking,” Sheriff Billy Woods said. “There is absolutely no justification for any form of cruelty to our animals, and we will always seek justice for our citizens and our little furry friends.”

The teen is being held without bond on an aggravated animal cruelty charge.

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