Posted on 10/21/2020

Defendant: Ra’Shae Syrtaj Jermaine Johnson

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, “Tragically this man went to a park to intentionally set a crate on fire that had a 17 week old puppy locked inside of the crate, to kill the puppy.”  Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced that the Franklin County Grand Jury has indicted Ra’Shae Syrtaj Jermaine Johnson, age 22, in connection with the October 11th fire that he started in the crate at Walnut Hill Park located at 6001 E. Livingston Avenue on the East side of Columbus.  Johnson has been indicted for one count of Cruelty to Companion Animals (F5), one count of Arson (F4), and once count of Open Burning (UF).  Firefighters responded at 12:15 pm on the report of a fire in the park.  As they were extinguishing the fire, they observed the injured puppy running around with plastic from the cage melted to her back.  Firefighters transported the puppy to the Diley Hill Animal Emergency Center where she was treated for her burn injuries.  O’Brien commended the Columbus Division of Fire for their investigation of this case, apprehension of the suspect, and for getting the puppy the immediate care needed for a strong recovery.  “This heart-wrenching case illustrates the importance of prosecuting those who choose to abuse innocent animals,” O’Brien stated.