It was about 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon in New York City when what should have been a routine subway commute turned into a terrifying one when a guy brought his full-grown pit bull aboard the crowded train with just a leash. The sight of the animal immediately made other passengers on the 4 train nearing Wall Street nervous. The ordeal started when the unknown pit bull owner let his dog climb up on the seat near a passenger.
The passenger, whose identity has not been released to the public, was irritated by the dog sitting next to her. According to witnesses, she expressed her disgust in a variety of ways, which she presumably regretted when the dog grabbed onto her foot, dug his fangs in, and refused to let go.
”The dog doesn’t belong on the seat,” she says. “He’s like, ‘I’m not moving my dog,'” Tahysi Kyng, who shot footage of the event, recounted. The lady then pushed things to the next level, and others feel she deserved the assault that was about to come.
She shoves it as if to say, ‘What is this dog doing on the chair?’ And he says, ‘Do not push my dog.’ And she does it one more time, and he just swings, stated Denise Leon, another witness to the event.
As per Kyung, things escalated when the lady and dog owner began fighting, with the pit bull still between them. As the dog’s owner and the lady argue, the pit bull feels protective of his master and attacks the woman, exactly as he has seen his owner do.
He’s pounced on her, but she moves back. That’s when he the dog grabs her shoe and refuses to let go, Leon continued. Commuters begin around the pit bull, which has its jaws securely clasped on a woman’s foot, twisting her leg with each pull from the dog.
While some riders attempted to assist, others maintained their distance, shouting at the owner to get his dog off the lady. He never told the dog to let her go at all, Kyng added. Fortunately, the woman’s shoe finally fell off, but watchers were stunned when the dog’s owner, who had been wrestling the dog off by its collar, tossed the woman’s shoe back at her.
Witnesses didn’t have a chance to ask the lady if she was okay since the conductor ordered everyone off the train at the next stop, but she was able to walk and didn’t seem to be bleeding. “I just wanted to know if she was OK,” Leon said.
Leon explains why others didn’t step in and aid her more: at the same time, you desire to help her, but you are afraid for the dog to turn on you. Then she brings up the main issue with the situation. Big dogs are not supposed to be on the train, Leon said.
Both the MTA and the NYPD are looking into the assault. The pit bull, which was merely on a leash, should not have been on the train in the first place, according to MTA guidelines. The MTA allows dogs on subway cars, but they must be contained in a carrying case. The video is “disturbing and a clear violation of our rules.”
Some argue that the lady, whom they refer to as an “idiot,” got what she deserved since she should not have touched the dog when she pushed it away from her.
Others have gone so far as to claim she should be prosecuted for animal cruelty for her alleged “attack” on the dog and his owner, but that seems a little much.
Although the women’s actions were careless, and no one should ever try to police pet restrictions on their own, bringing a pit bull on a crowded train is just not an option. So it seems that two wrongs don’t make a right—and when we say wrongs, we don’t mean the dog, but instead the people.
Of course, the dog shouldn’t be there, and the owner made a bad choice by breaking the regulations and bringing it on the train, but the lady also made a bad decision by picking a battle with the dog and its owner instead of seeking a new seat. She’s fortunate to still have her foot. While responsibility might be assigned, one thing is certain: no one wins when two adults fail to use their better judgment.