Fort Meyers man arrested for setting fire to opossum

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A Fort Meyers man was arrested on Thursday for setting fire to an opossum in Fort Meyers Beach. Bryan Frank Werner faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty and remains in the Lee County Jail on an out of county warrant.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, officers were summoned to an address on Isle of Palms Drive after a man witnessed Werner setting the animal on fire. Officer found two people on the property along with the suffering opossum trapped in a metal cage. The animal was alive but suffered extensive burn injuries and was immediately transferred to an emergency veterinarian hospital where it died the next day.

At the scene deputies found a long string tied to the metal trap that led to a staircase at the rear of the house. At the end of the string, deputies found a bottle of acetone and a grill lighter.

Forensics processed the crime scene and pulled fingerprints and palm prints from the tin acetone can. The prints were examined by our latent fingerprints division, which yielded a match for one of the suspects on scene, Bryan Werner.

Rest in peace little guy. Why anyone would want to kill an animal that benefits mankind is outrageous. Opossums, sometimes referred to just as possums, are a benefit to ecosystems and a healthy environment beyond eradicating ticks. They will catch and eat cockroaches, rats and mice – in addition to consuming dead animals of all types.
(Photos Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

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