Man arrested after tiger spotted on neighborhood lawn; big cat still missing

Victor Hugo Cuevas faces charge of evading arrest

A tiger seen in west Houston on May 9, 2021.
A tiger seen in west Houston on May 9, 2021. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – A man seen fleeing with a tiger from a Houston neighborhood was arrested Monday at his parents’ house, according to his attorney.

News 6 partner KPRC-TV reported that Victor Hugo Cuevas faces a charge of felony evading arrest after authorities said he corralled a tiger that was spotted prowling around the front yard of a home and took off.

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Police said Cuevas drove off with the big cat, leading police on a short chase before officers lost sight of him.

Cuevas’ lawyer, Michael Elliott, told KPRC-TV that his client had planned on surrendering at the Harris County Jail but was arrested beforehand on a charge of violating his bond on a 2017 murder charge.

Elliott said Cuevas has been implicated in a trove of assumptions that are not true.

“Because my client was the one who caught this tiger, who went out and got it, brought it back to safety, everyone is just assuming that he’s the owner of the tiger and that it’s his tiger,” Elliott said.

Elliot said although his client does not own the tiger, he could not elaborate on his connection to the animal.

“We were working with the federal and state authorities to try to lead them and get them the information that we had about the owner of the tiger and how they might find the tiger and the owner of the tiger,” Elliott said.

The tiger’s whereabouts are still unknown.