The dog's name was Gia. She was a pit bull and her owner said she was “kind of aggressive” and also protective.
And apparently somewhat ungrateful, as this dog, which was a rescue animal and for all we know would be dead if it hadn't been adopted, ended up causing all sorts of trouble for her owner and the man this woman was engaged to marry. So much trouble you would think it was a crime.
Gia the dog made such a mess of things that her owner, who is a Joliet police officer named Cassandra Socha, said she lied to a supervisor during an internal affairs investigation just to cover for her.
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Socha claimed during an internal affairs interview that the man she is engaged to marry, who is also a Joliet police officer and is named Nicholas Crowley, threatened to break her television set. But later on she said he didn't really, that she made that part up.
“I was coming off being intoxicated and I was trying to protect my dog,” Socha explained.
Whether Crowley threatened to break the TV or not, it did end up broken. Socha claimed that wasn't actually Crowley's fault though, that what happened was, he picked up the TV, for some reason, and she “went for the TV too and then it dropped.”
The television merely “fell out of both of our grasps,” Socha said.
She also lied on a domestic violence form, on which she wrote that Crowley broke the TV, according to court testimony.
So in the interest of covering up for Gia the dog, Socha told a story and Crowley ended up getting arrested and was put on paid leave from the police department.
Socha recounted the whole thing not long ago during Crowley's criminal trial.
The two of them, she said, had been at a party and then went to dinner, and after that to Bulldog Ale House and then to Anthony's Restaurant & Pub, where they stayed until about 3 a.m., which must be its closing time again.
From there, Crowley and Socha headed to their townhouse. That's when the dog acted up and Socha had to provide it with an alibi by lying to internal affairs. To protect it. Or something.
Socha said the dog was growling and barking so she put the pit bull in a “bear hug” and was holding it back while Crowley informed her that he “didn't want to hurt her or (expletive) kill her or something like that.”
The “her” Crowley was apparently talking about not hurting or (expletive) killing was Gia and not Socha.
Socha testified that while she was still bear hugging the dog it “snapped” and bit her in the face.
That was when the dog got loose, Socha said, and all of a sudden she “heard a bang.”
That “bang” she heard, it seems, was a gunshot. Socha didn't see who shot the gun, but the only ones in the house were her and Crowley and Gia the dog. And Socha didn't say she shot the gun. And the dog doesn't even have thumbs or index fingers, and so is probably in the clear, whether Socha lied for her or not.
That left Crowley as the likely suspect, and he was arrested and jailed and charged with domestic battery for allegedly hitting Socha in the head, criminal damage to property for allegedly breaking the TV set, and the reckless discharge of a firearm for allegedly firing a pistol and putting a bullet through the ceiling and through a bed in the bedroom above.
That was back in July and things for Crowley, at least to some, may have seemed a bit grim. But then, in the interest of avoiding the appearance of a conflict, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow handed the case off to a special prosecutor. And not long after, the special prosecutor brought the case before a grand jury and somehow failed to convince it to return indictments for the domestic battery or the broken TV.
There seems to be a pattern when it comes to Glasgow dumping off cases onto special prosecutors. It's almost like you can guess what's going to happen when he does it. But that hasn't stopped Glasgow. He keeps doing it anyway. And once again, it wasn't hard to figure how it was going to shake out.
Crowley beat the case. His attorney didn't even have to call a single witness.
There was no jury for Crowley's case. They left the verdict up to Judge Dan Kennedy and he found Crowley not guilty.
Kennedy explained “there is no direct evidence of how the gun was discharged” and that the special prosecutor was “asking me to infer from the circumstances that there was a conscious decision.”
You see, it might have simply been an accident, just like with the TV. Or maybe that lousy dog got it's paws on a gun after all. Who says you need a thumb?
• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JoeHosey.