A Georgia man seen violently kicking a cat through the air like a football in early July has turned himself in, Atlanta police announced Wednesday.
Authorities said in a statement posted to Facebook that a viral video of the incident helped them identify the suspect.
Footage shows a man, identified by officials as 22-year-old Jamari Davenport, from the waist down as he runs up to a small orange cat before punting it wildly into the air at a Chevron gas station on Martin Luther King Drive. The cat then crashes down onto the hard pavement before landing on its back.
Though the cat is seen getting back on its feet, it hasn’t been located and the extent of any injuries that may have been sustained are unknown.
WARNING: DISTURBING VIDEO
“It was pretty disturbing to watch,” Lisa Bender of the Atlanta Police Department said after the emotionally riveting video surfaced, according to WXIA. “And it’s been proven people who are violent toward animals are typically violent toward people.
CAT KICKER CAUGHT: APD is pleased to announce the arrest of a man who was filmed violently kicking a cat outside of a Chevron gas station on MLK Jr. Dr. in SW Atlanta on July 1, 2018. 22-year-old Jamari Davenport turned himself in, he's charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals pic.twitter.com/AfxYcJ40Io
— Atlanta Police Dept (@Atlanta_Police) August 1, 2018
Atlanta police shared surveillance video from the scene online showing the suspect’s face, along with a $2,000 reward in hopes of finding both the man seen kicking the cat and the person filming the video—efforts that have proven at least partially successful.
“Davenport was identified through tips to @Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta, which offered a reward for information leading to his arrest and indictment,” Atlanta Police Department said through a statement. “We are thankful to the public for these tips and to the news media for helping us ensure the surveillance and Instagram videos were widely viewed.”
Davenport is behind bars at the Fulton County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals. His bond is set at $3,000, according to jail records.
[Feature photo: Jamari Davenport, Atlanta Police Department]