UPDATE: The dog’s owner, Ruben Roncallo, 53, of Brooklyn, has been charged with reckless endangerment and assault, police told HuffPost on Thursday. Both charges are misdemeanors. The dog, classified as a service animal, has not been removed from Roncallo’s care.
A viral video of a pit bull attacking a woman on a New York City subway has caught the attention of police. Witnesses say the woman pushed the dog during a disagreement with its owner.
“The NYPD is aware of the incident and the investigation is ongoing,” the department told HuffPost on Wednesday.
According to CBS New York, the situation unfolded Friday afternoon near Wall Street.
Witness Tahysi Kyng told the station that the tension escalated when the dog’s owner placed the pet on the seat next to the woman and she objected.
“She’s like, ‘The dog doesn’t belong on the seat.’ He’s like, ‘I’m not moving my dog,’” Kyng told the station.
Another passenger, Denise Leon, said the woman pushed the dog twice as the man refused to move the pet, prompting a fight between the two people with the pit bull between them.
In the clip, the dog clamps its jaws on a passenger’s foot and refuses to let go while other commuters urge the dog’s owner to make it retreat.
When the dog is finally pried off the woman with her sneaker still in its mouth, the owner throws the sneaker at the passenger.
Kyng said the conductor cleared the train of passengers at the next stop. Kyng didn’t have a chance to ask the woman who was attacked if she was OK but said the woman was able to walk afterward.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson Shams Tarek called the video upsetting.
“Our rules require non-service animals to be kept inside containers and not disturbing other passengers,” the spokesperson told the New York Post. “What’s happening in this video is disturbing and a clear violation of our rules.”
This post has been updated to include more details from the police.