Authorities: Man harassed Wayne village president over Ludwig the dog shooting

A Schaumburg man is charged with threatening Wayne Village President Eileen Phipps over her husband's deadly shooting of his next-door neighbor's dog, Ludwig.

James M. Valent faces two misdemeanor counts of harassment by telephone stemming from calls made Aug. 18 referencing Phipps' husband, Hal Phipps, according to DuPage County court records.

The charges allege that at 7:52 and 8:05 a.m. that day, Valent called Wayne village hall and, in a deep whisper, said, "Hal Phipps, they're coming for him, he's so (expletive)."

Valent, 50, of the 100 block of Wolcott Court, is free after posting bail Oct. 22. He is scheduled to return to court Nov. 22.

The Aug. 10 shooting of Ludwig, a Dogo Argentino breed, sparked outrage in Wayne and across the area. Online groups formed, protests and vigils were held, demands for Eileen Phipps' resignation were made, and signs reading "Justice for Ludwig" were posted throughout the suburbs.

People have donated $3,139 to a GoFundMe campaign to help Petit pay for the signs and legal bills.

Ludwig's owner, Joe Petit, accused Hal Phipps of shooting his dog without justification. Phipps contended that the dog was on his property and threatening him, so he shot in self-defense.

Hal Phipps had also reported being bitten by one of Petit's dogs in June, on his property. Petit received two tickets in that case, which are pending in DuPage County court.

After an investigation by the Kane County sheriff's office, State's Attorney Jamie Mosser announced Sept. 15 that Phipps was justified and would not face charges.

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Ludwig, a Dogo Argentino, was shot to death Aug. 10 in Wayne, sparking protests, a lengthy police investigation and now, authorities say, threats against the village's mayor and her husband. Courtesy of Joe Petit
  "Justice for Ludwig" signs popped up across the suburbs in August and September after the deadly shooting of the dog by its neighbor. Brian Hill/, August 2021
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