John Hickey, 67, of Seattle, Washington, lost his best friend and closest companion on Saturday. He was out for his daily walk near Courthouse Park with Alice, his 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, who — according to Hickey — loved everyone.
As they walked, they were reportedly confronted by a man who demanded Hickey’s jacket. The man allegedly threatened to knock Hickey’s head off if he did not comply.
“I heard pounding of feet and I turned around and I mean he was running full speed at us and I didn’t have time to really do anything,” Hickey recalled to KCPQ-TV.
“I mean, I had her on the leash and in running towards her, he knocked me down and he kicked her so hard that she went up in the air and fell down on her head and started hemorrhaging.”
The poor little senior dog had no chance. She passed away in Hickey’s arms, leaving him completely broken.
“She was all my family. … She got me through days when I literally don’t think I would’ve gotten up in the morning,” he said. “Except I knew she needed me and she knew that I needed her.
“She would cuddle up and wrap her arms around my neck. She’s all I have — and, and I’m not complaining that that was all I had. I mean, she was all I needed.”
Anyone who’s had a close bond with a canine companion can imagine a bit of the pain Hickey is going through after this random, senseless attack. Not only has he suffered heartbreak, but he’s in a wheelchair for now as he heals from injuries sustained during the unprovoked attack.
“She thought everybody liked her and, and she was just proud of that,” Hickey said. “And the most horrible thing, when she died she gave me a look … just was like she was so confused that anyone would do something like that to her.”
To add insult to injury, Courtney Williams, the 29-year-old suspect — who is reportedly known to frequent the area Hickey lives — was released without bail Tuesday and was not formally charged.
Prosecutors and Seattle police fought the suspect’s release, with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asking for a $25,000 bail and the prosecutors asking the judge to find probable cause for a charge of felony animal cruelty. The police warned that the man’s “escalating behavior will continue.”
The judge ruled there was probable cause for a charge of second-degree animal cruelty, which is a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony. Many were outraged over the ruling, and Hickey was understandably shaken by the news.
As it turned out, Williams did not appear for his second appearance at court, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest on charges of first-degree attempted theft and first-degree animal cruelty — both felonies.
According to an update by KCPQ, Williams still had not turned up. While Hickey will never again get to see his sweet Alice, hopefully, her memory will be honored by justice being served.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.