NYPD Cops Shoot Dog (Pit Bull) on 14th Street in New York City

(Video screen shot)

If you have a pet of your own, this video will be hard to watch. But wait to pass judgment until you hear all the details.

What are those details? Apparently there was a man having a seizure on the ground, shaking and twitching as passers by watched in horror. However, no one could help the man during his medical emergency because the man’s dog — a pit bull — was being quite protective. In fact, in the video you’re about to see, the dog can even be seen lashing out at one lady who gets to close, biting her pants leg.

Gothamist has more:

Johnny Rodriguez, who was visiting the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary nearby, said he and three other people alerted nearby police officers that the owner of the dog was in danger of being hit by traffic. “He was having a seizure, I saw him lying down on the ground and his head was twitching and shaking.” The two officers who responded called for backup (“I guess they didn’t have the training or something”) and the dog began growling as officers approached the man.

After that, the dog then runs at one of the officers nearby. In a split second, the officer pulls his gun and fires a single shot that sends the dog writhing in pain. The dog eventually stops moving as a pool of blood is visible.

NYPD Cops Shoot Dog (Pit Bull) on 14th Street in New York City

(Video screen shot)

Here’s how it unfolded (CONTENT WARNING — GRAPHIC IMAGES AND SOME LANGUAGE):

But that still doesn’t tell the whole story. The Local East Village, an offshoot of the New York Times, says the dog — named “Star” — has a history of violence:

Brandon Verna, a homeless man acquainted with the owner of the dog, identified by police as Lech Stankiewicz, said that the pit bull has a reputation for being overly protective of her master.

“Most of us figured out that when he’s passed out, whether he’s overdosing or not, leave him alone,” Mr. Verna said. “If he’s going to die, call an ambulance and have them deal with it because no one wants to get bitten.”

A police source said that a video of the encounter leaves no question that the officers acted properly.

“It was a very dangerous situation. The shooting was completely justified,” the source said.

[...]

“She was super protective of her owner,” Ms. McSweeney said. “The dog has bitten multiple people that we know just because they were near him while he was sleeping.” [Emphasis added]

Miraculously the dog survived and is apparently in stable condition. But a police spokesperson told The Local East Village the prognosis doesn’t look good.

As for the owner, The Local has identified him as Lech Stankiewicz, a 29-year-old with a history of drug and alcohol problems. In fact, The Local says he was actually arrested after the incident for an open warrant related to an open container violation.

And despite the details surrounding the shooting, that didn’t stop McSweeney from taking it in an odd Occupy Wall Street-like direction.

“She’s bitten a bunch of our friends,” she said of the dog. “But now the first time it bites a yuppie, they shoot it? It shows that they’re not really there to protect and serve. They just protect and serve the rich.”

What do you think?

(H/T: Gawker)