Lake County man charged with head-butting neighbor, kicking dog

  • Joseph Donohue

    Joseph Donohue

Updated 5/11/2023 5:12 PM

Authorities say a 56-year-old Lake County man head-butted his neighbor and kicked the man's dog during a confrontation Sunday near Spring Grove.

Joseph Donohue is charged with misdemeanor battery, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer, according to court records.


Donohue's neighbor told investigators that the confrontation began about 4:50 p.m. Sunday when Donohue was backing up a trailer on the 37700 block of North Jeanette Court, where both men reside, said Lake County sheriff's office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

The neighbor said Donohue almost hit his car with his trailer, so he told Donohue to "be careful." Donohue approached the man, threw a punch and missed, and then head-butted the man, authorities say. Donohue then kicked the neighbor's dog, named Scrappy-Doo, and threatened to kill both the neighbor and the dog, Covelli said.

Covelli said Donohue needed to be restrained on the ground when sheriff's deputies arrived because he was shouting threats against his neighbor and attempted to flee. He was armed with a handgun but did not show it or threaten to use it during the encounter, officials say.

Donohue was released on a recognizance bond, which means he did not have to pay money to stay out of jail while his case is pending.

Covelli said Donohue's gun remains in police custody. Based on the altercation and threats, sheriff's deputies will file a 'Clear and Present Danger' form with Illinois State Police, which could lead to Donohue's losing his right to possess his firearm.

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