Suspect charged with animal cruelty for setting dog on fire

Tommie, the dog tied to a pole and set on fire, died in February 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) Richmond police have arrested a man in connection to tying and setting fire to the pit bull named Tommie.

Jyahshua A. Hill, 20, was arrested shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force. Hill is charged with one count of felony animal cruelty.

Hill was indicted by a grand jury on May 8.

[ Burned dog Tommie dies a day after taking steps ]

[ Community rallies after beloved Tommie, the dog tied to pole and set on fire, dies ]

Tommie, a male pit bull, was burned over more than 40 percent of his body after being tied to a fence post and covered in a flammable liquid. Tommie was treated for his injuries but later died five days later.

The case sparked widespread outrage and investigators are crediting information from the community with helping officers solve the case.

"There are a lot of people to thank, but I'd like to single out all the citizens who contributed tips that pointed us in the right direction" said Interim Police Chief William C. Smith. "That, plus the excellent job done by arson investigators who did the bulk of the work, major crimes detectives, forensics technicians and animal control officers who all built a strong case to present to the grand jury."

[ Volunteers help clean up burial site of Tommie the pit bull ]

Christie Chipps Peters of RACC says firefighters from Engine 5, which is nearby Abner Clay Park, quickly rushed over to put out the flames.

"They literally opened their bay doors and saw him on fire and ran across the street with their fire extinguishers," she said.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has assigned two attorneys to the case; one has expertise in arson and the other in animal cruelty prosecutions.

Anyone with information in connection to the case is asked to call RFD Fire Investigator Lt. B. Dalrymple at 804 646-5421 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

A booking photo is not yet available.

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