Tacoma man pleads not guilty to throwing neighbor's Chihuahua out two-story window

Tacoma News TribuneAugust 28, 2013 

Baby Jerry


Martha Tigner said at first she didn’t believe what she was seeing Tuesday, when her 9-month-old long-haired Chihuahua was thrown out a window, falling two stories before hitting the sidewalk. 

The dog –  named Baby Jerry – landed on the concrete, and was limping and bleeding when Tacoma police saw him.

Animal Control took the pup to the Humane Society and said he might have a hairline fracture, but appeared to be doing well.

“Who does that? And all my little kids are standing here,” Tigner said, pointing to her children.

She said a neighbor, George Harris, 34, became angry with her because he thought she and her children had broken into his apartment and stole two marijuana plants and a flat-screen TV. Harris spotted the dog in the hallway of the building in the 600 block of Martin Luther King Way where they all live and took him, intending to hold him for ransom until the items were returned, police said.

Harris pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree animal cruelty, and the court set his bail at $25,000.

According to court records:

Harris called 911 Monday evening to report his neighbor had broken into his home and taken the items, and that a friend of his neighbor assaulted him. Officers came and found no evidence of injury or burglary.

Harris was “obviously under the influence of alcohol/narcotics,” the officers said.

The man said he knew who was responsible because of a “cookie trail” between his home and theirs. Officers weren’t able to find said crumbs.

On Tuesday, it was Tigner who called 911, screaming that someone had thrown her dog out a window. She had been looking for the Chihuahua with her daughter, when she saw Harris throw the dog from the window about 30 feet off the ground.

Harris denied having the dog or throwing the animal out of his window, and again told officers the woman and her family were responsible for the burglary of his home.

A woman who identified herself as Harris’ girlfriend told police she was at his apartment when he took the dog from the hallway. She let the dog out when she left the apartment, and didn’t see him take the animal a second time, she said.

Tigner later showed an officer a text from Harris that said he was going to war with her.

News Tribune staff writer Alexis Krell contributed to this report.

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