An Oak Lawn man—Edward Hanania—pleaded guilty to tossing a pair of dogs off the roof of the hospital parking lot of Advocate Christ Medical Center in the Oak Lawn suburb of Chicago. He appeared Friday (July 28) in Cook County Judge Colleen Hyland’s courtroom, where he surrendered his rights to a trial by entering that guilty plea. Hanania also pled guilty to violating his probation on a 2016 drug conviction.
Two Toy Poodles had been reported missing by their owner on May 19. The next day, Oak Lawn police said that Hanania said they were his dogs after seeing the missing dog post on Facebook from a woman who had found the dogs. The woman who found the dogs believed him (and why wouldn’t she?), and she gave the dogs to him.
Police said Hanania drove to the medical center campus, where he threw the dogs off the roof of the parking structure five stories up. One of the dogs, Guero, was killed, but the second, Guero’s son Angel, suffered a broken leg and head trauma.
Hanania’s attorney, Richard Leferver, and Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Lanahan met in Hyland’s chambers for just under an hour, where they reportedly reviewed a pre-trial investigative report. After discussions with the dogs’ owners and Hanania’s family, Hanania, wearing orange jail scrubs, was brought back into the courtroom.
“How do you wish to plead to aggravated animal cruelty?” Hyland asked.
“Guilty,” Hanania said.
Hospital surveillance video captured Hanania driving a black 2002 Mercedes Benz to the roof of the parking garage. After exiting the Mercedes and peering over the edge of the roof, the prosecutor said Hanania went back to the car. Taking the two dogs out of the front seat, Hanania dropped both Poodles off the roof.
Ten minutes later, a passerby found Guero lying dead on the sidewalk. Angel was in the grass, grievously injured. The dogs were rushed to Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, where a veterinarian tried for about an hour but could not revive Guero. Angel underwent surgery to repair his broken leg.
Oak Lawn police said that the woman who found the dogs identified Hanania. The security video also captured the license plate of the Mercedes, which was registered to a 71-year-old man at Hanania’s address. Police said that Hanania made written admissions when he was arrested.
Animal advocates filled the courtroom. Hanania’s family, who wept for the dogs, thanked them.
Asked by the judge if he had anything to say to the court, Hanania replied, “I am very sorry.” He offered no explanation for his actions.
The judge sentenced Hanania to concurrent sentences of five years for aggravated cruelty and six years for violating his probation, plus two years of mandatory supervision upon his release from the Illinois Department of Corrections.