Arrest Warrant Issued for Man Who Set Dog on Fire

Vigil scheduled for Friday; Reward increased to $25,000

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 5:38 PM CDT
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Dallas police now have a warrant for a suspect in the death of Justice the dog burned last week and there has been another case of animal cruelty.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

Dallas police now have a warrant for a suspect in the death of Justice the dog burned last week and there has been another case of animal cruelty.

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Photos and Videos

Puppy Fights for Life After Being Set on Fire

Dallas Police are looking for the people who doused a lab-terrier mix puppy with lighter fluid and set him on fire. The puppy is now known as Justice.
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Dallas police say they have issued an arrest warrant for a man wanted in connection with a dog that was set on fire in Pleasant Grove last week.

Police say Darius Ewing, 18, threw a lit cigarette on a 4-month-old puppy that had been doused with lighter fluid. 

Ewing has not yet been arrested and the Dallas Police Department says that anyone with information on his location should call 911 or call the Southeast Investigative Unit at 214-670-8346.

On April 4, as a crowd of bystanders laughed, witnesses said a woman tried to save the puppy by putting out the flames.  When officers arrived, those bystanders scattered.  A short time later, Dallas police officers found the Labrador-terrier mix hiding behind an air conditioner.

The puppy was handed over to DFW Rescue Me, a volunteer group, who cared for the dog until transferring him to the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital last Thursday. After hours of treatment on Friday, Justice died early Saturday morning from complications of the 3rd-degree burns that covered 70 percent of his body.

Dallas Animal Services is asking the individuals who videotaped and photographed the incident to come forward, as well as anyone who has information about the torture case.

"A person who commits this type of torture should be accountable for this vicious act," said SPCA of Texas president James Bias. "There is a well-documented link between animal cruelty and human violence.

A vigil is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Dallas City Hall. The event will be emceed by Richard Hunter, a local radio personality who adopted one of Michael Vick's abused animals, and 105.3 The Fan's Sybil Summers. Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Tyron Smith is also expected to appear.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case. Charges of felony animal cruelty and torture carry a penalty of 2 to 10 years behind bars.

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