INDIANA -- A Marshall County man could spend time behind bars for allegedly shooting two of his neighbor’s dogs. It happened in the 17000 block of Vine Street around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Joseph Dyrcz of Tyner was arrested for Cruelty to Animals and Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm, both Level 6 felonies.
Marshall County Sheriff Matthew Hassel says while being taken into custody, Dyrcz admitted to police that he was responsible. His reason for allegedly shooting the dogs was because they were barking.
“I was sitting at my kitchen table and I just hear boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” said Steven, neighbor.
“I heard this kaboom, kaboom, kaboom and I jumped up, my cats got scared and ran in the other room. I jumped up and turned around and saw a fellow with a shotgun there,” said Brendan First, neighbor.
Both men called 911. Officers responded and were pointed in the direction of Joseph Dyrcz's house.
“He did tell the officer he was responsible. He indicated to my investigators that the dogs were continually barking and this was an ongoing problem,” said Sheriff Matthew Hassel, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department.
Steven, who lives on the opposite side of the dog owner's home, says that's not the case.
“I’ve never heard the dogs bark, other than to inform us that there was somebody coming up the road,” said Steven.
Tuesday, Steven checked his 24-hour surveillance video to find that the audio from the incident had been picked up.
His camera system only utilizes its microphone when sound is detected.
You’ll first hear seven shots.
There are roughly three minutes of silence, followed by a round of three and then two more shots.
“It's horrific, just hearing the dogs in the background, not being able to defend themselves,” said Steven.
One of the dogs was in a kennel, while the other was on a chain.
“It’s upsetting because what you see so many times when things go foul in a neighborhood just because neighbors won't talk and work together,” said Hassel.
Steven says an incident like this threatens the neighborhood's safety.
“My kids were at school, thank God, I mean if they would have been here, no telling. And the dog kennel, if you look at it next door, is right against my fence,” said Steven. “If he would have shot through my fence, and my kids would have been out there, then it could have been a different situation.”
Sheriff Hassel confirms that one of the dogs died during the shooting; however, the last he had heard, the second dog involved was still alive.
Wednesday evening, we confirmed with the dog's owner over the phone that one dog did indeed die, while the six-month-old puppy involved is still alive and is expected to be okay.
Dyrcz has not yet been formally charged, and he has bonded out of jail.
According to the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office, official charges are expected to come down by the end of the week.
If charged and convicted, each Level 6 felony can come with more than a year in prison.
"It's heartbreaking. It's like losing your family member to us," said the dog's owner, who would prefer to keep her name anonymous. "There could have been another way to fix the issue, had he said something to us."
(WNDU - Jan 18, 2017)