WASHOUGAL, Wash. -- Police have arrested a 17-year-old driver after they say he intentionally ran over a cat.
The teen, who was not identified, was taken into custody Wednesday and later released to his parents.
He was the driver of a Ford SUV that witnesses saw speeding eastbound in the 2700 block of H Street just after midnight Sept. 13.
The SUV was seen driving up on a curb and running over a cat that had just crossed the road, Washougal police said. Witnesses heard a teen yell, "Hit it! Hit it!" seconds before the SUV swerved and hit the cat.
As the cat lay dying in the grass, police said the SUV, filled with three or four teens, returned twice to look at it.
The driver arrested on Wednesday told police that he didn't mean to run over the cat. He claimed he was actually trying to avoid the animal "by driving right at it," according to a Washougal Police Department news release.
The owner of the cat has not been identified.
The case has been referred to Clark County Juvenile Court for consideration of first-degree animal cruelty charges against the driver.