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Days apart, cat, dog fall 43 stories from same high-rise balcony

Updated: October 7, 2013 12:39PM

A dog fell from a 43rd floor Near North balcony Wednesday morning. A cat fell from the same balcony three days earlier. And, according to the man who lives there, their deaths were tragic accidents.

The 26-year-old man, who asked to be identified only as Ryan, said his mother, sister and stepfather arrived a few days ago from Florida to visit him and brought their dog, a medium sized mixed breed named Duke.

Ryan’s two cats, Ash and Oak, were on the balcony of his apartment at 360 E. South Water on Sunday when, he believes, the dog peering through the glass door to the balcony, freaked one of them out, causing the cat to fall off the ledge.

Ryan, who was home with his visiting family members at the time, said he’d gotten comfortable with letting the cats onto the balcony.

“I’d convinced myself thoroughly that there’s no way these cats would even slip off because they had that instinctual fear that right over this edge is a big drop . . . but, I guess they freaked out because they never had a dog in their face before and I’m assuming one of them got skittish, went on the edge and just kind of jumped when they saw it through a glass window.”

On Wednesday about 8:15 a.m., the dog plummeted off the same balcony.

No one was in the apartment at the time, said Ryan, who’d been boxing things earlier in the week to move out of the building. A few boxes and chairs were left on the balcony. “It created a ladder that no one was thinking of,” said Ryan, a musician who said he manages a video production company.

His mother, stepfather and sister were out getting breakfast and running errands when the dog fell.

When his stepdad returned and couldn’t find the dog, he tracked down Ryan at his friend’s apartment a few floors away.

“He was in shock and he was like, ‘Where’s the dog?’ and since this had just happened to the cat . . . I already figured the worst.”

The two went back to the balcony and peeked over the edge. They couldn’t see the dog, which landed near the front door of the building, but police cars were starting to arrive, he said, and they both knew.

Ryan said his stepdad “couldn’t even hardly talk. He put this dog almost as high up as my mom and my little sister.”

Police are investigating the dog’s death, but are preliminarily classifying it an accident, according to Chicago Police Officer Veejay Zala, a department spokesman.

“Police were questioning and threatening to arrest me,” Ryan said. “Slowly but surely they, thank God, they believed what I told them.”


Twitter: @mitchdudek

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