Kane County sheriff's office investigating fatal dog shooting involving Wayne president's husband
Kane County sheriff's deputies are investigating allegations that the husband of Wayne Village President Eileen Phipps shot and killed a neighbor's dog without justification.
According to a sheriff's office news release Thursday, deputies learned a homeowner had fired a handgun multiple times at two dogs. The homeowner told authorities the dogs were on his property and aggressively blocking his path from his boat dock, where he was standing, back to his residence, the release stated.
The release does not name the homeowner, but Phipps and Sheriff Ron Hain confirmed Thursday it was Phipps' husband, Hal.
No charges have been filed as of Thursday. Hal Phipps could not be reached for comment.
Hain confirmed that sheriff's deputies were the first to respond to a 911 call of gunshots being fired late Tuesday afternoon on the 5N600 block of Pearson Drive, because the deputies were nearby in the unincorporated Valley View subdivision.
Later, the Wayne police chief asked the sheriff to take over the investigation, because of the connection to the village president, Hain said.
The dogs' owner, Joe Petit, lives next door and disputes that his dogs were aggressive.
Petit said the dog that died, 2-year-old Ludwig, was a Dogo Argentino and weighed about 100 pounds.
A friend had taken Ludwig and Ludwig's brother to swim in the Fox River, Petit said. The dogs were not on the Phippses' property, Petit said, and the dog was shot while in the river.
"She (his friend) was right there at my boat launch with my boy," Petit said.
"They are like kittens," he said of his dogs' temperaments, adding Ludwig would regularly trot over to another neighbor's house to play with a child and a cat. Ludwig had figured out how to open doors and a yard gate, Petit said.
But Eileen Phipps said, "These dogs run loose constantly, day and night, night and day."
In June, one of the dogs bit Hal Phipps, according to two village ordinance violation tickets that Wayne police issued to Petit.
Phipps said the dog bit her husband in a knee and ankle, and that he received treatment, including antibiotics, at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. She said it happened in her yard, with one of the dogs pushing her husband down.
"These aren't these sweet little cuddly puppies," she said.
Phipps said her husband "is totally cooperating with the Kane County sheriff's department and will continue to do so."
The sheriff's office release said authorities are reviewing video evidence and statements of the people involved.
"Obviously there are going to be more interviews, and determination of the (shot) trajectory," Hain said Wednesday. His detectives will review the findings of their investigation with the Kane County state's attorney's office.
Phipps said she has received threats, via Facebook, email and phone, including one that said "your dog is next." She is reporting the threats to the Kane County investigators.
"I am so outraged by the one-sided behavior that has happened. It's incredible," Phipps said.
She also denies her family received special treatment from Wayne police.
"To have my department, my chief and my commander be accused of covering up for me is so insulting and outrageous" to the officers, she said.