Aug 05, 2016 Norridge pit bull owner Owner fails to show at dangerous dog hearing

Norridge - A pit bull onwer responsible for at least four attacks didn’t show in court, so judge just says, “Oh well, nothing we can do.  We’ll have to wait until he sees fit to show up before we can proceed with chargers.”  Funny, it doesn’t work that way for traffic court or…most other charges.

Two dog owners whose pets were injured in separate attacks in June 2014 and July of this year appeared at the court hearing at Village Hall to provide testimony against 48-year-old Vincenzo Recchia, the man who owns the pit bull.

Recchia, of the 4900 block of North Chester Avenue, is facing charges that he failed to restrain an unlicensed dog and did not have current rabies vaccinations for Vida, the pit bull police said attacked a Chihuahua and miniature pinscher being walked by their owner Will Leinberger on July 5 on the 8500 block of Ainslie Street.

According to Leinberger, who brought photos of his blood-drenched face to court with him to show the extent of his injuries from the day of the attack, Recchia grabbed the pit bull from his hands and ran back to his home after the attack, and his whereabouts are now unknown. His house has a for sale sign outside, and police couldn't say whether he still lived at the home, according to Leinberger.

Administrative Judge Donald Devlin was scheduled to decide whether to classify Vida as vicious at the Aug. 4 hearing, but despite Leinberger being in court along with another neighbor, Cindy Busse, whose poodle was reportedly injured two years ago by the same dog, Devlin continued the case to Sept. 8.

"We can't take (Recchia's) testimony because he's not here," Devlin said. "Sometimes freedom and democracy don't make a lot of sense."

The village designates dogs as vicious on a case-by-case basis, determined by the frequency and severity of its bites. If Vida would have been designated as vicious, the village would have required Recchia to keep the dog inside a 6-foot-tall enclosure, with the village having the authority to impound and euthanize it if the dog were to leave the property, according to police.

The continuance granted by the judge set the scene for a time of waiting for the victims, who said they live in fear of another attack.

Read more:
Chicago Tribune

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