Teen who kicked a kitten on Vine pleads guilty
The kitten who was brutally kicked on video by a South Carolina teenager is alive and well.
Update: And the kid who kicked it, Walter Easley, pled guilty to animal abuse charges Thursday.
“I didn’t mean to cause harm to the animal. I wasn’t doing it to, like, hurt the animal,” Easley said to Orangeburg County Magistrate Don West. “I wasn’t trying to offend everybody. I was... it was to be funny.”
Upon recommendation from Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Deputy Lamonte Edwards, Easley will enter a pre-trial intervention program which is sealed. Under such program, Easley could face a punishment of "community service, classes and restitution in the event of property damage," the Times and Democrat reported.
Easley's mother, Tarshia, hopes the authorities will return the cat to her son.
The cat, who has been named Boots, was taken into custody by Orangeburg County's Animal Control Aug. 19, the same day police arrested 17-year-old Walter Easley. The teen, from Cordova, S.C., was charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor.
Easley tweeted a Vine video of himself kicking the cat about 20 feet off his porch on Aug. 11. The video set Reddit and 4chan off, inspiring dozens of users to take action against the teen. 4chan's random imageboard /b/, in particular, dumped Easley's personal information online, reported him to his local newspaper, Times and Democrat, and allegedly called his cellphone repeatedly, threatening to "kick the sh**" out of him.
The four-pound cat did not suffer any long-term injuries, Times and Democrat reported. The newspaper captured the following video of the feline playing with Animal Control director Les Porter.
Easley was released on a $500 personal recognizance bond Tuesday and is expected back in court on Sept. 12. If convicted, he could face 60 days in jail. The court will ultimately decide if Boots is returned to Easley or put up for adoption.
For the cat's sake, let's hope adoption is the answer.
Update: PETA sent us a press release calling for the prosecution of Walter Easley:
Today, PETA sent an urgent plea to First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe calling on him to vigorously prosecute Walter Easley, 17, of Cordova, S.C. Easley allegedly recorded himself violently kicking the family's kitten, Boots, from his porch onto the yard and posted the video on July 28 to the video-sharing site Vine. Easley was arrested based on evidence that PETA collected and turned over to Orangeburg County Animal Control, which quickly acted to remove Boots and four dogs from the home for their safety.