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News

Some Jerk Accused Of Swinging Rabbit By Ears And Lighting It On Fire

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Juan Lemus arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty (Photo courtesy of the Santa Paula Police Department)
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A man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty against a rabbit on the day before Easter. Just before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Santa Paula police responded to reports that a man was swinging a rabbit around by the ears and lighting the animal on fire, according to the Ventura County Star. Before they arrived, however, the suspect reportedly fled on a bicycle.

Police soon found the suspect—identified as 29-year-old Juan Lemus—nearby in the 300 block of South Steckel Drive. Lemus told the officers that the rabbit was already dead when he found it in the street, and that he had lit a piece of paper on fire, not the rabbit, according to the L.A. Times.

The rabbit's body was later found next to a smoldering pile of papers in a dirt lot where Lemus had first been seen by witnesses. According to the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the animal died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Lemus was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, arson and burglary. He was also charged with possession of a methamphetamine pipe and, perhaps not shockingly, for being under the influence of meth.