A Texas high school football player is facing a felony animal abuse charge after police say he tortured and killed an emu at a party.
Cassius Mankin, 18, allegedly stole the bird from a farm in Comanche late in the night on Valentine’s Day, WFAA reports.
The emu, named Miss Molly, was then “tortured by having its eyes punched out," the bird’s owner, Bob Falk, told WFAA.
"As far as I can determine, the animal was choked and killed,” Falk said.
Falk and his wife, Carol, have been raising emus for 20 years. “Miss Molly was more than trash and garbage. Miss Molly deserves the respect we can share,” he said.
Several other people, whose names have not been released, were also involved in the incident, according to Big Country Homepage. Seven people, both minors and adults, have been charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief. A Comanche County Sheriff’s Office news release states that more charges will be forthcoming.
Mankin, who was charged with theft and felony animal cruelty, is free on bond.
All students alleged to be involved with the incident have been suspended from extracurricular activities, Comanche Superintendent Rick Howard told the Associated Press.