A man has been arrested after disturbing footage emerged of him viciously whipping a horse repeatedly in Conecuh County, in the US state of Alabama. Initially, when the video surfaced, a manhunt had begun to identify the culprit in the video.
The Snapchat video had been widely circulated on social media, having been shared thousands of times, and users expressed outrage, calling for the suspect to be locked up. Many say they were brought to tears.
David Barritt, Network for Animals’ (NFA) chief campaigner said that the case highlighted the role that social media is playing in spreading important information. “Without people sharing the video, this man might have escaped justice. NFA urges all of its supporters to widely share posts about animal cruelty, doing so helps authorities bring abusers to justice,” he said.
The Monroe County Animal Control received hundreds of phone calls when the video first emerged and tried to track down the perpetrator.
“Imagine being hit that many times. When I watched it the first time I cried. When I watched it the second time, I got mad and cried, just to think what that horse was going through,” animal control officer, Becky Frye told NBC News.
“He’s whipping the horse on the leg. You can hear it going across the flesh, then later on he ties the horse up with the right leg and he is still beating him with the whip and that’s not the way to do that.”
The man was later found and identified as 22-year-old Shaquille Tucker. He was arrested and charged for aggravated cruelty to animals, and a day later he was released on bail. A sheriff told media the suspect confirmed it was him in the video.
The horse did not belong to Tucker, and he was on someone else’s property when the incident took place. The suspect has been prohibited from returning to the property.
Police say they are investigating other charges against the same man, after he posted videos on Facebook attacking a raccoon and some dogs.