A Florida man is facing charges after allegedly throwing two tiny kittens out of a moving car onto a 70 mph highway.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said a witness spotted Diego Torres Ruiz, 29, tossing the cats from the window of his Hyundai Santa Fe SUV on November 28. Witnesses told deputies cars had to swerve to avoid hitting them after the kittens tumbled onto the pavement.
The witness provided a description of the SUV and Ruiz was stopped a short time later. Deputies said he denied knowing anything about the kittens.
The cats were not immediately found and Ruiz was released.
The sheriff’s office continued to search for the missing kittens.
Later in the day, deputies found a dead kitten. They said it appeared to have been hit by a car, while the other kitten ran into the woods and out of sight.
A while later, an employee at the tourist attraction, Rain Barrel Village, found the other kitten and took it to a veterinarian with non-threatening injuries in Key Largo, Florida.
The witness adopted the kitten that survived and confirmed the kittens looked like those from the incident on U.S. 1. The person also identified Ruiz’s vehicle as the suspect's vehicle on the highway.
The sheriff’s office notified the Florida's State Attorney’s Office and warrants were obtained for Ruiz’s arrest.
Ruiz was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on two counts of animal cruelty – one misdemeanor and one felony.
"I take these incidents very seriously, and I’m happy to report an arrest was made in this case," Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a press release.