A Baytown man is out of jail after posting a $25,000 bond on an animal cruelty charge after he reportedly killed and burned a cat near his home on North Dolphin Harbor Drive early Monday morning.

Police identified the man as 30-year-old Ron Welch.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the 176th District Court in Houston, police were called about 1:30 a.m.

The person calling police reported that Welch, who was not wearing either shirt or shoes, was in the middle of the roadway burning a cat and was “kneeling by the fire with a machete in his hands and appeared to be praying.”

When a police officer arrived, the officer said Welch was on his hands and knees with his face over the fire. When the officer approached, Welch threw the burning carcass into a ditch.

Welch went into his house. Police waited several hours for him to leave the house since he was known to be armed with a machete and believed to have firearms. He finally left the house and was arrested.

A necropsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of the cat’s death, but an initial examination by a veterinarian said it had been substantially burned and cut with an instrument consistent with a machete. It was dead before police arrived on the scene.

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