A Texas high school football player has been accused of stealing an emu from a farm and then torturing and killing it at a party late in the evening on Valentine’s Day. Seven other students were charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, and additional charges may be forthcoming, according to a press release from the county sheriff.
Cassius Mankin, 18, a football player at Comanche High School, was arrested and charged with felony animal abuse and misdemeanor theft, according to a report by WFAA. He was released on $20,000 bond.
The emu, a one-year-old named “Miss Molly,” was stolen from Bob and Carol Falk, who have been raising emus for about twenty years on their farm in Comanche, a town about 95 miles southwest of Fort Worth. The emu had been kept in a secure pen, and the Falks were asleep while their pet was being stolen.
A large number of Comanche High School students attended the party where the emu was allegedly abused and killed, reported the Big Country Homepage. The Comanche Sheriff’s Office interviewed many of the students, and collected photos and video taken during the party as evidence.
Bob Falk said he felt “shock” when he heard the news. He was quick to dismiss the idea that this could be characterized as a prank, describing the emu’s brutal death to WFAA: “It was tortured by having its eyes punched out, and as far as I can determine, the animal was choked and killed,” he said.
“We feel like we’ve lost a special part of our family,” said Falk. “Miss Molly was more than trash and garbage.”
The superintendent of Comanche Independent School District (ISD) confirmed that Mankin and the other students who were allegedly involved in the incident have been suspended from extracurricular activities, according to the Huffington Post.
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