Greek man held on suspicion of kicking kitten into the sea

ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities on Monday arrested a man suspected of enticing a kitten with food at a restaurant where he was dining and then kicking it into the sea, the country’s minister for the police said.

Minister Takis Theodorikakos voiced shock at the incident, which triggered outrage in Greek social media Sunday after a video of it was posted online, apparently by one of the suspect’s dining companions.

“Violence against animals is unacceptable,” Theodorikakos said in a Facebook post. “I cordially congratulate those who brought the matter to the public attention.”

The video showed three people dining outdoors at a seaside restaurant in a village on the island of Evia, central Greece. Two kittens approached, asking for food. One of the group dangled a small fish in front of one of the kittens, enticing it to come closer, and when it did kicked it into the shallow waters below — as a woman was heard laughing. The second kitten escaped.

Greek media said locals took the kitten to a vet for examination and was found to be unharmed.

If charged and convicted of animal abuse, the suspect faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a maximum 50,000-euro ($52,000) fine.

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