An Athens man is charged with animal cruelty after witnesses say he kicked a cat like a football. The cat died from its injuries.

According to a police report, on Christmas Eve, a couple who lives on Moore Street called police after they saw a man they knew as D.J. walk out of the house next door "and kicked a cat he was carrying by the neck into the road as if he was punting a football or kicking a soccer ball." The woman checked on the cat, which died a short time later.

Another man who lived in the house told the neighbor that the cat ran inside and "pounced on a small child."

Officers finally tracked down the suspect, Dejion Oberson, several days later and charged him with aggravated animal cruelty. He was also wanted on a violation of probation in Marion County, Tennessee.