A Tacoma man who blamed his anger problem for the death of his roommate’s dog pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in the case.
Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged Nicholas Tresness, 32, with first-degree animal cruelty and third-degree malicious mischief. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in Superior Court, and he was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
A fight with his girlfriend sent Tresness into a violent rage that started with him kicking over a high chair and breaking a coffee cup and ended with him kicking his roommate’s dog to death, according to court documents.
Tresness’ roommate called 911 Friday after hearing a dull thud from Tresness’ room and finding her Chihuahua, Duke, lying lifeless against the wall.
She told police Tresness was upset after arguing with his girlfriend on the telephone and began breaking things around the house.
No one saw Tresness kill the Chihuahua but he allegedly admitted doing so to officers.
“I have an anger problem,” he reportedly told officers. “It just takes over. There’s nothing I can do.”
He told police that Duke came at him so he pushed the dog away with his foot, records show.