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Update: Englewood man accused of burning bunny caught in PG

Manasseh Walker

Man­asseh Walker

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – The 22-year-old Engle­wood man accused of the inten­tional burn­ing of a domes­tic rab­bit named Thumper was taken into cus­tody Thurs­day, accord­ing to a news release from the  Sara­sota County Sheriff’s Office. Man­asseh Walker was located in the 300 block of East Grace Street in Punta Gorda, thanks to the joint efforts of the SCSO Fugi­tive Appre­hen­sion Unit, Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office and Punta Gorda Police Department.

He is cur­rently being held in the Char­lotte County Jail.


The cap­ture came less than 24 hours after the SCSO put out word through the media that it was try­ing to locate Walker, who is charged with aggra­vated ani­mal cru­elty for the inten­tional burn­ing of a domes­tic rabbit.

On June 14, SCSO issued a news release seek­ing infor­ma­tion related to an injured domes­tic rab­bit dis­cov­ered about 2 p.m. June 12 in the 12000 block of Loranza Avenue in North Port, that inves­ti­ga­tors believe may have been lit of fire. Thanks to intense pub­lic inter­est and “shares” on social media, the owner came for­ward and dis­closed details of the inci­dent, accord­ing to the SCSO release.

Thumper is recovering from his burns

Thumper is recov­er­ing from his burns

Accord­ing to wit­nesses, on June 12, Walker claimed that he had been bit­ten by “Thumper” and, a few moments later, was seen chas­ing the ani­mal while it was on fire.

The rab­bit was taken to a vet­eri­nar­ian in Venice where it was treated, and it is recovering.

Deputies have con­tin­ued to inves­ti­gate and are attempt­ing to locate Walker. His cur­rent where­abouts are unknown, but deputies have rea­son to believe he may be hid­ing in the Punta Gorda/Charlotte County area.

The sheriff’s office is ask­ing any­one with infor­ma­tion regard­ing this inci­dent to con­tact 941−861−9516 or sub­mit an anony­mous tip to Crime Stop­pers by call­ing 941–366-TIPS, or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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