Two men were arrested Tuesday after police said they helped a friend who was charged with severely injuring a puppy to run from authorities.

Danielle Brown, 25, of Michigan City, and Roger Holiday Jr., 54, of Auburn, Indiana, were both charged in LaPorte Superior Court 4 with assisting a criminal, a level 6 felony punishable by a six month to 2 1/2 year sentence.

Richard Cope, 50, was returned Friday from El Paso, Texas, where he was apprehended in early February.

He's charged with in connection with the beating of his young pit bull. The dog was discovered with two broken hips and his mouth taped shut after wandering over to a neighbor's property on Christmas Day.

According to a police report, when Cope learned Jan. 11 he was charged with abusing the dog, he asked Brown to pick up his 6-year-old son from school then headed to Holiday's home in Auburn.

Acting on a tip, members of the U.S. Marshals Service went to Auburn, but missed Cope who had just left with Holiday for Toledo.

They ate together at a Popeye's and Holiday gave Cope some money before he boarded a bus for El Paso, police said.

Holiday returned home and when questioned by police allegedly denied knowing where Cope had gone.

Cope wound up at the home of Andres Reyes, a man he had spent time with at a federal prison, and Brown mailed him clothing and other items during his stay at the residence near the Mexican border until his capture, police said.

During the hunt, Brown denied knowledge of his whereabouts, police said.

"These people helped enable him to get away and out of the area, which caused us to utilize a lot of resources," LaPorte County Police Capt. Mike Kellems said.

The dog was taken in by a rescue group and is on the way to an expected full recovery.

Cope has a prior criminal record of violence.

He received a one-year jail sentence and two years probation in 1993 on two counts of battery and insurance fraud out of DeKalb County, Indiana, according to court records from DeKalb County.

One of the battery counts involved a child less than 13 years old, according to court records.

In 1997, he was given a 12-year prison sentence in Louisiana for an armed robbery that involved a shootout with the police in the Baton Rouge area.

Kellems said whether Reyes will be charged with harboring a fugitive will be decided by Texas authorities.

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