A 19-year-old New Jersey woman is accused of throwing a cat off a third-floor balcony in Newark.
Tikeemah J. Lassiter was arrested Saturday after a video of the incident she posted on Instagram was reported to police, the Newark Department of Public Safety said in a press release.
The incident happened on Thursday, December 1, at an apartment building on South Orange Avenue, police said.
The cat survived the three-story fall and is in the care of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Another Woman Can Be Heard Laughing & Asking ‘It’s Dead?’ After the Cat Flipped Through the Air to the Ground Below
The video, which you can watch above, was posted on Instagram on Thursday and spread on social media Friday and Saturday after it was discovered by animal advocates and anti-animal cruelty groups.
According to police, they began investigating the video after reports from concerned citizens. The woman in the video was identified as Tikeemah Lassiter, police said in a press release.
The 10-second video shows a woman holding a cat inside an apartment. She then takes a step toward a balcony and flings the cat over the railing.
As she throws the cat, another woman, who has not been identified and was not arrested, can be heard laughing and asking “really?” and “it’s dead?”
The cat landed on its feet and is moving after the three-story fall.
2. Lassiter Was Visiting Family Members in Newark & the Cat Did Not Belong to Her, Police Say
Lassiter, of Clinton, New Jersey, was visiting relatives at the apartment complex at the time of the incident, the Newark Department of Public Safety said.
She and her relatives did not own the cat.
The cat was later found in the neighborhood by a woman named Yasmin Rivera, according to posts she made on Facebook. Rivera turned the cat over to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Rivera said the cat was found in a housing complex and several other stray cats were also in the area.
“There are many other friendly cats there from what the kids told us he says the people there treat them very mean it’s a housing complex and he says when people move out they leave them behind,” she wrote on Facebook.
3. She Was Already Wanted on a Warrant Accusing Her of Assaulting a Transit Worker
Tikeemah Lassiter was already wanted by the New Jersey Transit Police on a warrant, the Newark Department of Public Safety said. She was held in custody on $10,000 bail in that case.
She is accused of assaulting a Transit Police officer, NBC New York reports. Details of that incident were not immediately available.
Lassiter, who goes by Tikee Gee on Facebook, is originally from Newark and went to University High School.
4. She Is Being Charged With Animal Cruelty & Faces Up to 6 Months in Jail if Convicted
Lassiter is being charged with animal cruelty, the Newark Department of Public Safety said.
According to New Jersey law, animal cruelty is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine between $250 to $1,000 and up to 30 days of community service to be served by assisting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
5. The Cat Is Being Examined by a Veterinarian & Could Be Returned to the Woman Who Found Her
Police said the cat is being examined by a veterinarian and is in the custody of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The cat could be returned to Yasmin Rivera, the woman who found her after seeing the video on social media, according to posts on Facebook by Rivera and animal advocacy groups.
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