NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD arrested the owner of a dog that attacked another passenger in the subway.
The pit bull latched onto a passenger’s foot and wouldn’t let go. The incident was caught on video.
Ruben Roncallo, 53, was charged with reckless endangerment and assault. He showed little remorse walking out of the police station in handcuffs Thursday afternoon.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. Friday on the 4 train approaching Wall Street.
Witnesses told CBS2’s Ali Bauman from the moment the dog got onto the busy subway car, they could feel the tension. Its owner only had it on a leash, which is against MTA rules.
Video shows commuters circling around the pit bull with its teeth tightly clenched around a woman’s shoe. Her leg twists as the dog tugs on her foot.
Tahysi Kyng recorded the video and said it all started when the dog’s owner sat his pet on the seat.
“She’s like, ‘the dog doesn’t belong on the seat.’ He’s like, ‘I’m not moving my dog,’” said Kyng.
“She pushes it like, ‘What is this dog doing on the chair?’ And he’s like, ‘do not push my dog.’ And she does it one more time, and he just goes swinging,” another witness Denise Leon added.
Kyng said the woman and dog owner started fighting, with the pit bull still between them.
Other riders kept their distance as the owner wrestled the dog off by its collar. He then threw the woman’s shoe back at her.
“He never told the dog to let her go at all,” said Kyng.
Kyng said the conductor made everyone get off the train at the next stop. He didn’t get a chance to ask the woman if she was alright, but she was able to walk and didn’t appear to be bleeding.
The MTA allows dogs on subway cars but they must be contained to a carrying case. A spokesperson told CBS2 the video is “disturbing and a clear violation of our rules.”
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said the video left him “outraged.”
“There’s no reason in the world why that dog was allowed — one, on board, down to the platform, on the train, but let alone harassing one of my passengers,” Lhota said.
In 2017, police issued 85 summonses to riders for having an unauthorized animal on a subway or bus. So far this year, 20 riders have been busted. The penalty? A $25 fine.
The NYPD says the pit bull is a registered service dog. Both police and animal control say they will not be taking any action against the dog.
As for the victim, her mother tells CBS2 her daughter remains in the hospital with injuries from the attack.