UPDATE: Man arrested, accused of setting dog on fire in Magna

Local News
TUESDAY 3/2/2021 8:58 a.m.

MAGNA, Utah (ABC4) – Police have arrested a man accused of setting a dog on fire near Magna.

Unified Police say 40-year-old Michael Busico was booked into the Tooele County Jail on multiple, unidentified charges.

They add that this incident remains under investigation by Salt Lake County Animal Control.

On Monday, authorities confirmed they were investigating after a dog was found to have been set on fire and released near I-80 in Magna.

Officials tell ABC4 that the dog was set on fire and then left along North Frontage Road just after 6 p.m. on Monday. The incident started a field fire at 9400 West in Magna but was quickly put out once crews arrived.

The below photos, which may be graphic for some viewers, show the burns the female dog has suffered.

According to the probable cause statement, Tooele City Police were dispatched to a residence for a reported theft earlier in the day Monday. The victim’s father-in-law stated his daughter-in-law’s mother’s ex-boyfriend, Busico, had stolen the victim’s dog earlier in the day.

Busico was allegedly at the home visiting the dog when the victim says she left. When she returned, Busico and the dog were allegedly gone.

The probable cause statement says the victim believed Busico had stolen the dog in retaliation for their failing relationship.

Shortly after 6 p.m., police say they were dispatched to the area of 9500 W Frontage Road north of I-80 for a report of a dog that had been set on fire. Authorities say a witness on scene described a man that fit the description of Busico had fled the scene in a vehicle matching Busico’s.

After ensuring the dog was safely in custody, police say an investigation found Busico was in a dispute with the mother of the victim for over $1,200 and a past relationship that had ended.

A search warrant was later issued on the suspect vehicle and his father’s home.

The probable cause statement says officers observed Busico exiting the residence and loading items into the suspect vehicle. Officers say Busico tried to flee the scene when they arrived and use their emergency lights.

He was apprehended less than 100 yards away and arrested on charges of criminal trespass, theft, arson causing damages between $1,500 and $5,000 or prior conviction, and torture of a companion animal.

Authorities say he is now being held without bail.

You can help support the injured dog by making a donation to Salt Lake County Animal Services at bit.ly/slco_donate.

Original Story: Investigation underway after dog set on fire, released near I-80 in Magna

MONDAY 3/1/2021 9:48 p.m.


MAGNA, Utah (ABC4) – Authorities are investigating after a dog was set on fire and let loose near I-80 in Magna on Monday evening.

Officials tell ABC4 that the dog was set on fire and then left along North Frontage Road just after 6 p.m. on Monday. The incident started a field fire at 9400 West in Magna but was quickly put out once crews arrived.

According to Salt Lake County Animal Services, the dog is a female, red tick heeler. Images of the dog and the burns she suffered can be found below:

Officials said the dog has second-degree burns to her face and burns to her fur. Animal Control Officers said the dog is wearing a brown leather collar, no tags, and does not have a microchip.

A witness to the crime described the suspect as a white male, with a shaved head, approximately 6-feet tall, and was wearing dickies. The witness said the suspect was also wearing a fluorescent green shirt with an orange stripe. Officials say the suspect was driving a green Toyota Tacoma with a partial plate of Q or K 42

A veterinarian is currently treating the dog for its injuries and the dog is expected to survive.

Authorities are working with individuals who say they witnessed the incident.

If you recognize this dog please you are asked to call 801-840-4000 or email animal@slco.org.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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