Two Chicago Heights men involved in an armed robbery that lead to the slaughtering of a Homewood man’s dog now face felony charges, according to police.
James Ruiz, 19, of the 200 block of W. 13th St. in Chicago Heights and Luke Conwell, 22, of the 100 block of Strieff Ave. in Chicago Heights, were with the Homewood man—with whom they were acquainted—in the garage of his home in the 1900 block of Terrace Road just before 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, according to reports.
Police say the three men had been in the garage for “20-25 minutes” when Ruiz pulled out a silver handgun, charged the weapon, then put the gun to the victim’s head and demanded his possessions. The victim complied and placed his belongings—a wallet, some cash and a cell phone—into a blue backpack belonging to the robbers, according to the report.
After the man emptied his pockets, Ruiz hit him on the side of the head with his gun and made him lead the group to the loft area of the garage, police say. When they discovered it was merely a storage area, Conwell expressed interest in going into the house but was dissuaded when the victim told them his parents were home.
As the victim descended from the loft, he took advantage of his head start and ran out the main door of the garage, locking it behind him, according to reports. From there, he ran into his house to alert his father, who called police.
After notifying authorities, the father and son went to the garage. They found the main door open and both men gone. When the two returned to their home, they discovered their dog bleeding from the neck, according to reports. The dog was taken to a veterinarian where it died from its injury.
Bothe Ruiz and Conwell were charged with armed robbery and aggravated cruelty to an animal.