A Summerville High School student who filmed himself tossing cats was sentenced to community service Monday.
Deonta Marquee Weaver, 18, of Moss Pond Lane in Summerville was arrested Jan. 21 on a charge of animal cruelty. Weaver filmed himself tossing two cats about 30 feet and then posted the videos on Instagram, Facebook and Vine. The videos were forwarded to the Charleston Animal Society, which forwarded them to Mount Pleasant police.
"In the first video, he throws a kitten up over telephone pole wires," Animal Society Cruelty Investigator Aldwin Roman said. "Both videos are difficult to watch because the treatment toward the kitten and the cat was cruel and clearly illegal."
The incident occurred in Mount Pleasant in September. Mount Pleasant Municipal Judge David Michel sentenced Weaver to 30 days in jail, which will be waived if he completes 50 hours of community service, according to the Animal Society.
A Mount Pleasant police officer talked with Weaver at the school Jan. 8, according to an incident report.
Weaver told the officer he was visiting relatives in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 7 and he and a cousin took a walk. That's when he decided to film himself throwing cats, according to the report.
Weaver told the officer his mother warned him he could get in trouble and he took down the videos the same day they were posted. But things spread fast on social media, and it was too late.
The officer explained that Weaver would be charged, and he went back to class. After he was formally charged, he surrendered to police and was released on bail.
"We are glad justice prevailed in this case because Charleston Animal Society will not stand by and allow people to treat any animal in this manner," Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said in a statement. "Studies have shown a clear link between animal cruelty and violence toward humans. When a case like this involves a young person, it is very important for the community to intervene as early as possible."
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.