Crime

19-year-old charged with kicking cat on KC high school football field

The kicker wore a purple visor, black tank top, purple basketball shorts, white socks and black Under Armour cleats.
The kicker wore a purple visor, black tank top, purple basketball shorts, white socks and black Under Armour cleats.

Nearly three months after a video was released of a cat getting kicked across a high school football field, prosecutors said a 19-year-old from Kansas City has been charged.

Johnathan M. Taylor faces one count of animal abuse, a misdemeanor under state law.

The incident was captured on a Snapchat video and was later released to the public by city officials in an effort to identify those involved. Authorities said the video was taken on May 22 at the Center High School football field.

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A witness told police she believed the man shown kicking the cat was Taylor, a former student.

Taylor denied kicking the cat in interviews with police but said he had been invited to play football at the field that day. He said he didn’t go because of work.

By June 21, police said three people found a cat dead on the football field. The cat appeared to be the same one shown in the video, police said.

A man is seen punting a cat like a football in video released by the City of Kansas City.

At least two other people, including the man who filmed the incident, later told authorities Taylor was the man shown kicking the cat in the Snapchat video.

The man who took the video was interviewed by Springfield, Mo., police in August. He told police he wasn’t really thinking when he pulled out his phone that day to film Taylor and a cat that had walked onto the field while they were playing a football game. The man recalled Taylor allegedly saying, “Man get the cat outta here, I’ll kick the cat.”

After kicking the cat, the man told police the animal didn’t move, so they kept playing their game. He said they later saw the cat crawl around the field.

Court records said the man commented to police the cat was probably in pain and that “cats have nine lives.”

Following the police investigation, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office filed the animal abuse charge against Taylor on Thursday.

An initial arraignment is scheduled Oct. 4.

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