A Will County judge will decide in roughly three weeks if a Bartlett man is guilty of intentionally killing a Chihuahua.
A bench trial began Thursday for Joseph A. Siwek, 23, of the 1100 block of Charter Oaks Court. Siwek faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and cruelty to animals.
Will County Judge Dan Rippy will make his decision in the case April 12.
Siwek was arrested for allegedly striking the head of a female Chihuahua named Lola who belonged to the family of his former girlfriend, Audrey Mitchell. Mitchell broke up with Siwek after Lola died.
Police were called to the a home at the 24600 block of South Tyron Street in Channahon on Sept. 25, 2017, after receiving a report of a Chihuahua who was unresponsive after being struck. Siwek was home alone with the dog while the family was in Denver, Mitchell’s mother, Kimberly Mitchell, testified.
Siwek’s attorney, Nicholas Faklis, argued during opening statements that the evidence would show Siwek bore Lola no ill will.
Faklis argued that Siwek put Lola in a sink to clean her own feces off her when the dog bit him. He said Siwek slapped Lola in response and her head hit the sink.
Kimberly Mitchell testified that Lola was so afraid of Siwek she would squeal when he came to their door and hide under furniture. She described Lola as a “tiny, tiny dog” with a “sweet deposition.”
Audrey Mitchell testified that she was out of town while Siwek was home alone with Lola. She said she received a call from Siwek and heard the dog screeching in the background. She said she told him to leave the dog alone until she came home.
Audrey Mitchell started to cry in court when she testified that she came home and found Lola “wrapped in a cold, wet towel.”
She testified that Lola was “very defensive” but was not aggressive or the type of dog that would bite someone.
Audrey Mitchell also said Lola nipped Siwek in a previous incident when he got close to her and he struck the dog on her head.