Turtle set on fire

James Terrance Allen (right) and the turtle that was set on fire.

A Dothan man faces a felony animal cruelty charge after police say he poured alcohol on a turtle and set it on fire.

According to a Dothan police statement, police arrested 19-year-old James Terrance Allen on Wednesday, and charged him with felony aggravated animal cruelty.

The statement said the charge stemmed from police responding to numerous people reporting to the Dothan Police Department about a live video stream on Facebook of animal cruelty.

The police statement said Allen was apparently shown on live video pouring alcohol on a turtle and saying “give me 100 views and I’ll light it.” Allen then lit the turtle on fire. The statement said Allen then continued and said “give me 200 views or this (expletive) is gonna die.”

Dothan Police Capt. Will Benny said the offense occurred around 12 p.m. Wednesday at Allen’s home located in the 900 block of Chickasaw Street, between Montana Street and North Park Avenue.

“We got a call and we logged into Facebook, and saw he was live,” Benny said.

Benny said after police found Allen’s Facebook page they looked for him, found where he lived and arrested him.

“He was still outside and the turtle was still there. There was some people there who actually took a picture of him getting arrested,” Benny said. “He gave a statement, and he said he was doing it for the views.”

Benny said people have started a movement in an effort to get the abusive video posted on Allen’s Facebook removed. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday it could still be viewed by people. Benny said police already have a copy of the video they plan to use as evidence in court.

According to a statement posted on the Dothan Police Department’s Facebook page, Allen gave a taped confession to the crime.

The turtle was also found and taken to the Dothan Animal Shelter for rehabilitation. The turtle, who has been named “Leonardo”, is expected to make a full recover and be released back into the wild.

Allen was taken to the Dothan City Jail and later transferred to the Houston County Jail. Benny said bail was set at $10,000.

“Unfortunately I have seen things like this before, but fortunately it is not very common,” Benny said. “I can’t say I’ve ever seen a turtle set on fire before. But I’ve seen abuse cases before for no other reason just to abuse them.”

Court records show Allen to be a three-time convicted felon.

Records show Allen received a 46-month prison sentence in April for two burglary convictions and a felony possession of an altered firearm charge. The 46-month sentence was suspended for three years probation.

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