An NYPD officer was forced to shoot an aggressive pit bull to help the dog’s owner who collapsed on the street. The graphic video of the pit bull shooting in New York City may be difficult for dog lovers to watch but appears to be the only way paramedics could help the animal’s owner who was in the midst of a medical emergency.
The pit bull’s owner suffered what appeared to be a seizure, according to witnesses who saw the man collapse on the sidewalk and begin twitching and shaking, The Blaze reports. None of the concerned citizens could reach the man to help him because the protective pit bull became aggressive as well-intentioned passersby tried to aid the dog’s beloved owner. The pit bull video shows the dog lashing out at a woman who tried to help the ill man as the angry and likely scared animal bites her pants leg, the Gothamist notes.
Brandon Verna, a homeless man, told NYPD officers the pit bull is a female dog named Star. Police later identified the owner of the pit bull as Lech Stankiewicz. The pit bull reportedly had a reputation for being “overly protective” of the owner.
“Most of us figured out that when he’s passed out, whether he’s overdosing or not, leave him alone. If he’s going to die, call an ambulance and have them deal with it because no one wants to get bitten,” Verna told the Local East Village.
Pit bull shooting witnesses alerted New York City police officers about the collapsed man and the dog in danger of getting hit by oncoming traffic. The first two NYPD officers on scene called for backup to help with the pit bull, which growled at them as the approached the dog’s owner. The pit bull ran toward one of the NYPD officers, who shot the dog to protect himself.
“The dog has bitten multiple people that we know just because they were near him while he was sleeping. She’s bitten a bunch of our friends. But now the first time it bites a yuppie, they shoot it? It show that they’re not really there to protect and serve. They just protect and serve the rich,” Mary Catherine McSweeney told the Local East Village.
The graphic pit bull shooting video shows the dog reacting to the gunshot wound before it falls to the ground with a pool of blood forming around the injured pit bull. The pit bull survived the shooting and was reportedly in stable condition, but a police representative interviewed by the Local East Village notes the prognosis of Star the pit bull does not “look good.” The pit bull’s owner Lech Stankiewicz was ultimately arrested on an open warrant charge.