A 23 year old Houston man active in the Houston punk scene has been charged with animal cruelty charges after a dead cat was discovered hanging from a handrail by a MetroRail passenger last Thursday.
Herber Martinez was arrested the following day and jailed under suspicion for cruelty to livestock animals. Authorities have accused Martinez of torturing the cat by decapitating it before hanging its body from the guardrail. He was captured by the police on Friday after surveillance footage from a MetroRail train showed a man hanging the dead animal's body inside the train car before exiting at a stop located near BBVA compass stadium. Court records show he's also been charged with possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine, a felony.
Police say that although Martinez had blood on his clothing and scratches at the time of his arrest, he couldn't account for the blood or scratches, claiming instead that he'd found the cat already dead in a dumpster.
Martinez has been involved with the Houston punk music scene, reportedly playing in several local bands such as "Licker" and "The Curb Biters" in the past. The the crime is so bizarre that everyone from Vice to local news outlets have spread the story far and wide on social media. As news of the horrific crime made the rounds, many in Houston's music scene are expressing shock and outrage, describing Martinez as a troubled young man with a history of erratic behavior.
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Members of a Facebook community called "Justice For Murdered Cats In Heights" have been discussing the cruelty charges, with some claiming that Martinez's dog has been killed, possibly by someone interested in enacting revenge for the cat's death. According to the SPCA's website cruelty to livestock charges may result in a fine of $10,000 and up to two years in jail, so Martinez faces some serious penalties if he's convicted.