Chicago-area Man Charged With Tossing Wife's Dogs Off Balcony, Killing One

A Chicago-area man has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly throwing his wife's two small dogs off a second-floor balcony, killing one, police said Wednesday.

Jerald Jeske, 51, of suburban Park Ridge, was arrested shortly after 10 p.m. Monday after police responded to a domestic battery call at a home in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, where they found a dead Chihuahua at the scene.

According to police, a woman claiming to be Jeske's wife said her husband had slapped her twice during an argument outside the building and threatened to kill her dogs.

"You love those dogs more than you love me. … I'm going to kill those dogs," Jeske allegedly said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Jeske then took the woman's keys, went inside the building, and tossed the small dogs off a second-floor balcony, according to police. One of the dogs, a 17-year-old Chihuahua, was killed, but the other dog, a 14-year-old female named "Flo," ran away and remains missing, WGN Chicago reported.

Police found Jeske on the top floor of the house, according to Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti. He allegedly told officers he'd locked his wife out of the house following their argument. Surveillance cameras in the home showed Jeske throwing the two dogs "out of the back door," Antonietti said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jeske, an attorney, was charged with one felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals. Cook County Judge Stephanie Miller ordered him held in lieu of a $10,000 bond at a hearing Wednesday.

Miller ordered Jeske not to have any contact with the victim or with animals if he is able to post bail. Jeske's next court date is Monday.

At his bond hearing, Jeske claimed Antonietti's account of the incident was "full of inaccuracies." He declined to elaborate after conferring with his court-appointed attorney.

A Chicago police report listed a Park Ridge address for Jeske, but his attorney said he has lived in Houston for the last three years while working as a lawyer for an energy firm.

If convicted of felony animal cruelty, Jeske faces up to three years in jail and a $25,000 fine.