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The off-leash hours at Fort Greene Park typically attract dozens of tail-wagging pups, who play while their owners exchange subtleties. On Saturday, the neighborhood atmosphere of the park disappeared when, according to several eyewitnesses, a dog owner apparently suffocated a pooch out of nowhere.
“I told a few people this was the craziest thing that happened,” said Noah Harlan, a Clinton Hill resident who was walking his dog at the time of the attack. “It was stabbing a dog.”
Bandit, a 3-year-old mix of Great Dane and Bernese Mountain Dog, was trotting through the park with its owner just before 9 a.m. when, according to Bandit’s owner, who asked to stay, they stumbled upon a couple and their medium-sized Basenji anonymously Appeal to fear of reprisals.
The owners of the Basenji, who also visit the park, had asked Bandit to stay away from their dog beforehand. The two growled at each other, but they never turned violent, said Bandit’s owner.
“They have never harmed each other, but growled and taken a stance and became territorial,” said the Clinton Hill resident, the bandit who has been with his fiance in the park since his pup was eight weeks old. “Bandit has never bitten or injured a dog or human.”
Bandit’s owner gave the couple a sign that he would hold Bandit back, he said. But when approaching Bandit approaching the couple and their Basenji, the male owner of the Basenji allegedly took out an object and, according to Bandit, put it in the side, according to Bandit’s owner and three other witnesses.
The man who allegedly stabbed Bandit left the park with his dog and partner. (Noah Harlan)
“There was no argument between the dogs when he bent down and stabbed Bandit in the side.” Bandits owner said. “It wasn’t for self defense at all. It wasn’t provoked … This guy could have removed his dog and walked away. “
Bandit’s owner grabbed the arm of the man who shouted, “I will kill your dog,” while blood spurted from a wound on the side of Bandit’s chest, two witnesses said.
“It was crazy,” said Rachel Poston, who was walking her black Labrador mix, when the stinging occurred. “I went over and [Bandit’s owner] had his hand over his chest and there was a lot of blood coming out. “
Poston and other dog owners gathered to assist Bandit owners in covering the wound by applying antiseptic wipes and turning a plastic bag into a tourniquet. Poston called her husband to drive Bandit to the veterinary clinic, and others called the police and called park officials. Meanwhile, Harlan was taking pictures of the couple as they quietly left the park.
“It was really amazing,” said Poston. “Everyone was pretty freaked out, but it was amazing to see the canine community. Everyone came together and acted so quickly. “
Bandit was taken to a veterinary clinic in Gowanus, where an x-ray showed that the knife had not reached his chest cavity. The pooch was allowed to go home after seven hours but had to return to the vet as health problems continued.
“We took him to the vet every day because there was a different incident with his body,” said his owner.
Harlan said dog fights are common in the park, but that the knife’s reaction was inappropriate.
“The people are cold. They understand what dogs are and sometimes they try, ”said Harlan, who owns a beagle. “It’s really not an event. Nobody says, “Oh my god, my dog attacked your dog.”
Harlan added that he had heard that police had identified the owner of the Basenji, but a police spokesman said no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. If convicted of cruelty to animals, the Basenji owner could face a prison sentence of up to two years.
Bandit’s owner said he would be devastated if the attack scared bandits of people and the park they called home earlier.
“I would be most broken if he had PTSD – if he distrusted people or the park,” said the owner, who added that in all the years he has frequented the green spaces, he has never heard of such an attack have. “That every dog owner would act this way towards a dog is unfathomable for all dog owners.”
This story first appeared on brooklynpaper.com.