Warning: Cellphone footage in the video below is disturbing.
PATTERSON, Ca. — A senior at a Northern California high school was arrested Friday morning after a video that appears to show him throwing a kitten into a body of water was posted online.
Police say the video was shot over a year ago, but it surfaced this week and has been shared across social media hundreds of times.
"My heart, it just left my body," said Nicole Pinheiro, who shared the video. "And I showed my mom and she burst into tears. She was like, 'I can't believe that this is the world now.'"
Investigators in Stanislaus County say the overwhelming amount of shares helped put the incident, and the Patterson High School student on their radar.
Patterson Police arrested Garret Haile before school on Friday. He was 17 when the video was shot, and just turned 18 last week. Haile was booked into jail on a felony animal cruelty charge. Investigators say whoever recorded the video may also face charges.
Police said they expect Haile will face the charge as a minor — something Pinheiro disagrees with.
"At 17, I still knew what I was doing. He knew what he was doing," she told KTXL. "Even if he was just joking around, or just trying to put something on Snapchat, or whatever he was doing, it's wrong regardless. Regardless of if it's a year old or today, he still did it."
Pinheiro says she just wants Haile to pay for his actions.
As for the cat in the video, police are looking into where Haile threw it — whether it's in Stanislaus County or somewhere else.
It is unknown if the cat survived.