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'Baja,' the cat in alleged animal abuse case in Portland, is found alive and well

BAJA cat.jpg
Kaleem Gholsby
Posted at 9:57 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 20:09:26-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE (1 p.m. Thursday): The Portland Police Department posted a photo on its official Facebook page announcing it has located "Baja," the cat involved in the case. She was examined by a local veterinarian and reportedly is doing well.

ORIGINAL
Portland Police arrested 17-year-old Kaleem Gholsby, whom they suspect abused a cat in a now-viral video.

The video seems to show the Gregory-Portland ISD senior slamming a cat to the ground with two hands. The cat was able to get up and run away.

"It really hurt my heart," Abrianne Thompson said, the student that shared the video on social media. "I couldn’t even... I didn’t want to watch it again."

Police became aware of the viral video over the weekend, but think it was made last week. Through a group effort by the Criminal Investigations Division, school resource officers and Portland Animal Care Services, they worked to identify the person in the video and made the arrest on Monday.

A report was actually filed by some concerned citizens and that’s what kicked things off for PPD, the large amount of public outcry.

"Well, not only from the community, but from within the police department itself," said Portland Police Department Chief Mark Cory. "We consider that a very serious crime. Any cruelty or torture of an animal is taken very seriously, and that’s why we got on it so quickly and made an arrest as quickly as we did in this case."

Thompson is the one who spread the word about the video. She saw it on Snapchat and did a screen record to save the video. She then put it out on other social media sites with the hashtag "Stop Animal Cruelty."

“I think a consequence should have happened, definitely, because who knows what else he can be capable of?" said Thompson, a fellow GPISD student. "You know, starting with an animal purposefully hurting them.”

Thompson is new to the district, and Gholsby was one of the first people she met.

"So, I kind of met him my first day and I thought he was nice," she said. "He showed me where my classes were. And then just a few days after that, I had seen the video on my phone. So, it kind of was a shock to me."

Gholsby is being held at the San Patricio County Jail on a single charge of cruelty to a non-livestock animal, which is a third degree felony. He is expected in court by Wednesday to make his initial appearance and have his bond set.

Cory said the investigation continues as the department looks into who actually filmed the video.

***WARNING***
This video is graphic.

RAW: Police arrest G-P football player in alleged animal-abuse case