Elkhart animal cruelty suspect is a 'dog lover'

An Elkhart teen accused of animal cruelty is actually an animal lover, according to his grandmother.

Marquis Gary is accused of throwing a firework at a dog during a Fourth of July gathering.

The dog picked up the firework in its mouth, where the item exploded. The incident left a Pit Bull puppy with injuries that were so severe, the animal had to be put to sleep.

“He’s not a monster, he loves dogs, I have a Pit Bull at my house, he loves my dog, he wouldn’t intentionally do that to harm no dog and I know that for a fact,” said Gary’s grandmother, who preferred that her name not be used.

Today Gary appeared in juvenile court where a charge of animal cruelty was added to his earlier case alleging robbery. Papers were also filed seeking to move Gary’s case to adult court.

“In this particular instance, we have an allegation, a very serious allegation involving the torture and mutilation of an animal which is serious in and of itself, and we also have the same individual as a suspect in an armed robbery case,” said Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill.

Today’s scheduled hearing was reset for August 22nd, because Gary’s attorney was out sick.

On the day the dog died, Gary’s grandmother says that Marquis was one of several youths at a gathering on Gross Street.

“He was not the only one out there, there was several other young men and young ladies out there, if the cops was there he seen the yard was full of kids so why point the finger at just him, he was not the only one there,” said Gary’s grandmother. “I believe the owner should be held responsible for the tragedy of her pet because she knew a couple days prior to this incident that the dog liked to play with fireworks and I know for a fact that she told me out of her own mouth. And for one thing the day that it happened knowing that the dog liked to play with fireworks, they heard the fireworks going off, she said she was going to the store and as she opened the door to go to the store the dog ran out, instead of going to Energy to take care of what she needed at Energy she should, she should have got her dog, and her dog would still be safe.”

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