by Aimee Levitt
It's a truism that when you have three similar incidents, you get a full-blown trend. First there was the shooting of two "aggressive" dogs in a marijuana raid in Columbia. Then there was the senseless killing of Jade the terrier in Bellefontaine Neighbors. And now there is the murder of Joshua Funches in the Chicago suburb of University Park.
Perhaps it's not quite a trend since cops didn't do the shooting and the victim was a human, but it was still stupid and senseless and a dog was still involved.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Funches, a 23-year-old bus driver and father of two, was walking his dog, a fox terrier named Gucci, on Sunday evening when Gucci stopped, raised his leg and proceeded to do what dogs do when they stop and raise their legs. Unfortunately, Gucci chose to take his potty break on Charles Clements' lawn.
Clements, neighbors told the Tribune, is a wee bit obsessive about his lawn. It frequently wins University Park's beautiful lawn award -- but beauty comes at a price. Clements is notorious for threatening anyone, children, adults and animals alike, who ventures to place a toe on the grass.
Sunday night, Clements, a former Marine, happened to have a pistol on hand.
In the midst of a heated argument over Gucci's right to piss on the lawn, Clement pulled out the gun and pointed it at Funches. Witnesses say Funches taunted Clement, "Next time you pull out a pistol, why don't you use it?"
Clement did. Funches fell to the ground.
Clements went inside his house and changed his clothes. When University Park police arrived, he told them, "I knew you were coming for me. That's why I changed my clothes. I knew you were coming for me."
Before he pulled the trigger, he allegedly told Funches that he would be found innocent if arrested.
Clement is currently being held on $3 million bond and faces charges of first- and second-degree murder.
"It was all over a little wooden plaque," Funches' mother Patricia told the Tribune, referring to the town's beautification award. "It was a senseless death. How can you take a life for a piece of wood?"
No word on the fate of Gucci.