Witness: "He Was Defending The Owner And I Was Telling The Police"

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A brown and white pit bull belonging to a homeless person was shot and killed by police on the east side Monday afternoon.

Police responded to 14th Street and Second Avenue, where the dog’s owner was passed out on the sidewalk, according to witnesses.

Police said the dog was lunging at them and others on the crowded sidewalk, but one witness saw it another way.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports from 14th Street

“The dog did not attack me,” the witness told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “He knew that the real threat was coming from the police and they killed him. He was right, the dog was right,” she added.

The witness said she tried to intervene.

“He was defending the owner and I was telling the police,” the woman told Silverman.

Another witnesses said that the dog was not on its leash.  Mark Anthony, an onlooker, said the dog was growling at people and even snapped at a woman while its owner was passed out on the sidewalk.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports

“The cop was trying to see if he was OK.  The dog charged at the cop, the cop shot the dog,” Anthony told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

He said the dog was trying to protect the owner, but thinks police did the right thing because somebody could have gotten hurt.  He said the owner is a regular panhandler, who was out of it.

“He was there by himself…in his whole other world,” Anthony said.

Cops said they have no choice but to shoot when a dog is lunging at people on a crowded sidewalk.

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