A $200,000 bail was set today for a Lakeview school teacher charged with punching his dog to death in anger when it refused to get into a bathtub after it “ate every piece of paper” in the man's apartment and soiled itself.
Derek Fierro, 25, was before Circuit Court Judge Donald Panarese, who set the bail. Fierro is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, according to police and prosecutors.
Fierro stood before Panarese with his clasped hands behind his back wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, jeans, glasses and loafers. Panarese also ordered Fierro not to have any contact with any other animals.
Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Leanna Miehlich said in court that Fierro told police: "I don't know why I did it."
"I'm an animal myself" Miehlich quoted Fierro as saying.
Fierro is a teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School in the 7000 block of North Ashland Avenue, according to police and Chicago Public Schools records.
Fierro is currently working on his masters degree in education from Dominican University, is a graduate of the University of Texas and has lived in Chicago for about a year and a half, said his attorney Robert Gevirtz.
Fierro, of the 500 block of West Roscoe Street, called 911 about 3 a.m. Friday and asked police to meet him at Roscoe and North Broadway, police said.
When officers arrived, he told them the dog was in trunk of his car and gave police the keys, police said. Officers checked it and found the mixed-breed dog which he had adopted from a shelter in October of 2011.
Fierro was crying when police arrived and said he was sorry about killing his dog, according to police.
CPS Inspector General James Sullivan said his office will investigate the incident, which could lead to disciplinary action against the teacher. Sullivan said his office always investigates cases where a district employee is arrested and charged with a “serious crime.”
Miehlich said Fierro has no criminal record.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times