An attorney for the man caught on video with a Bengal tiger outside a Houston home has given information to cops on where to find the big cat, he told The Post Tuesday.
Michael W. Elliott, who is representing Victor Hugo Cuevas in a 2017 murder case, claimed he gave an “important piece of evidence” to Houston cops on where to find the tiger, but insisted he needed to speak to his client before releasing the information publicly.
“I have information that will assist in locating the tiger and the tiger’s owner and I have relayed that to Houston police and the federal Fish and Wildlife Department,” Elliott said during an interview.
Elliott said he did not know the animal’s exact whereabouts, but insisted the information he provided could directly lead to locating the tiger and ending the saga that has gripped west Houston since Cuevas, 26, was caught on camera Sunday corralling it back inside after it got out.
Cuevas then drove off with the tiger in a white Jeep as cops responded to the west Houston residence, eluding cops during a brief ensuing chase, police said.
The murder suspect who was out on bond since November was later arrested Monday night at a Fort Bend County home, Houston police announced while saying the tiger’s whereabouts remained unknown.
Elliott insisted the tiger does not belong to Cuevas, but he declined to comment on his client’s connection to the animal and whether he was caring for it at the time it escaped.
“He is not the owner,” Elliott said. “He doesn’t have the tiger.”
Cuevas, who was charged with felony evading arrest, remained in custody Tuesday at the Fort Bend County Jail. Elliott is accusing police of rushing to judgment by assuming the tiger belonged to him.
“They’re not really interested in the truth,” Elliott said. “I’ve tried to work with them but all they want to do is lock people up.”
Elliott said Cuevas was not the only person found by cops inside the home, referring to a woman who was also there. It’s unclear if she’s Cuevas’ girlfriend, the attorney said.
Cuevas was leasing the home, Ron Borza, commander of Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders Division told reporters at a press conference Monday prior to his arrest.
Investigators believe Cuevas also kept two monkeys in the home, Borza said, adding that their whereabouts were unknown and that his girlfriend may have taken them.
Police said Tuesday that the hunt for the big cat is ongoing.
“We are attempting to locate the tiger,” police spokeswoman Jodi Silva told The Post early Tuesday. “We still don’t know where it is.”
Silva said there’s no indication the animal was “roaming free,” but said police have received varying information about its whereabouts while asking Cuevas’ attorney to contact police.
“There have been conflicting statements and we’re attempting to have ongoing discussions,” Silva said.
Cuevas had been out on bond since November for allegedly shooting Osiekhuemen Omobhude outside a sushi restaurant in Fort Bend on July 2017, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Cuevas has claimed in court documents he shot Omobhude in self-defense after the man pointed a gun at him. He was due back in court on July 12, the newspaper reported.