Cashless bail: Judge refuses to jail Chicago man accused of shooting dog, having 50-round ammo magazines

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge rejected a prosecutor’s request to jail a Chicago man who allegedly shot a dog as a threat to public safety on Monday. Instead, Judge Mary Marubio sent Darrick Bender, 19, home with a nighttime curfew and orders to stay away from the dog’s owners, court records show.

Chicago police initially responded to a ShotSpotter gunfire detection alert in the 5000 block of South La Crosse late Sunday night. Before they arrived, dispatchers radioed that a 911 caller reported that a man had just shot his dog one address away from where the ShotSpotter indicated a gun had been fired, according to a Bender’s CPD arrest report.

The officers saw two men matching the descriptions of the suspects and tried to talk with them. But the men ran, and two officers chased one of them, allegedly Bender.

The arrest report said Bender ran behind a home and threw a backpack over a fence before the cops caught him. The backpack contained a loaded 9-millimeter handgun equipped with a laser sight, loose ammunition, and two 50-round drum magazines, according to the report.

Darrick Bender | Chicago Police Department

A 42-year-old man identified Bender as the man who shot his American Staffordshire Terrier in the head, the report said. Police did not say if the dog, named “Remi,” survived.

The arrest report does not provide many details about the alleged shooting. In a press release, CPD said Bender “recklessly discharged a firearm, striking a dog.”

Prosecutors charged Bender with aggravated cruelty to animals, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and reckless discharge of a firearm endangering others. And they asked Judge Marubio to keep Bender in jail as a public safety threat, court records show.

Marubio nixed that idea. She released Bender with a curfew and told him to check in with the court’s pretrial services division and to stay away from the victims, according to the clerk of court’s file.

Last month, Chicago police arrested Bender on a different set of allegations. A 52-year-old woman told police that Bender pointed a gun at her, and a CPD surveillance camera operator saw him in possession of a firearm with an extended magazine, according to the August 17 arrest report.

Officers couldn’t find the gun he was accused of having. The report said Bender had a key fob in his pocket for a stolen BMW that was parked nearby.

Prosecutors charged him with possessing a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. They dropped the stolen vehicle charge one week later and dropped the aggravated assault charge on September 7, according to the court file.

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