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Man suspected of setting stray dog on fire inside crate in East Cleveland pleads not guilty

Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 17:59:33-04

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — The man who set a dog in a crate on fire in East Cleveland has pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Antonio Johnson was charged with animal cruelty, a felony.

Since Johnson decided to waive the preliminary hearing, he has been scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 30 at 9:45 a.m.

Johnson has the option to post bond, which was to be set at $75,000. If he can’t post bond he will remain at the county jail.

If found guilty, Johnson faces six to 12 months in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.

On Sept. 6, in a parking structure for an apartment complex in the 16000 block of Nelacrest in East Cleveland, a stray dog was set on fire. The severely burned dog was taken to Rainbow Veterinary Clinic where it had to be euthanized because of the severity and extent of its injuries.

Johnson was suspected to be the individual who set the dog on fire and was arrested in the 3600 block of Silsby Road Tuesday afternoon without incident, police said.

RELATED: Man suspected of setting stray dog on fire inside crate arrested by East Cleveland police