A wild pursuit through the streets of Flatbush came to a bloody end on Wednesday when a pit bull mauled a suspect who jumped into its backyard during a police chase, and cops shot the dog to prevent it from killing the man.
Officers from the 63rd and 70th precincts were pursing two suspects — whose crime police did not immediately disclose — in a car on E. 29th Street between Farragut Road and Foster Avenue at around 1:20 pm when the men ditched their ride and began running on foot.
The men entered the backyard of an E. 29th Street house, where they encountered what was described as a large pit bull who attacked one of the two suspects. The other man tried to pull the dog off, but the large canine bit him, too.
Police said that they saw the pit bull mauling the suspect, and shot the dog, since they believed they were also in danger. First responders pronounced the dog deceased at the scene.
The younger of the two suspects suffered severe lacerations from dog attack, and may have been struck by a bullet that ricocheted off a concrete wall.
Paramedics rushed both men to Kings County Hospital, where they were in stable condition on Wednesday, with charges pending, officials said.
Investigators reported that one of the two men allegedly dropped a handgun that may have been used in a previous shooting, though police sources could not confirm that.
After police shot the dog, the pit bull’s owner began arguing and shoving police officers on the scene. A group of policemen tackled the irate man to the ground and took him into custody. P0lice did not report if the dog owner faced any charges on Wednesday.
Police also detained two other men for trying to enter the crime scene to reach the dead dog.
Michelle Laurie, a neighbor, identified the dog as Casper, a 3-year-old, 150 pound pit bull. She described herself as an “auntie to Casper,” and said he was “lovable and only protecting his home.”
“Casper was amazing – he was born on that block, raised in my back yard, he played with the kids and had play dates with two other dogs on the block,” Laurie said. “He was the best friend of my dog … If you threw that stick, it didn’t matter how far, he would fetch that stick and bring it right back so quickly. He played with my children, babies – it was not a dog that needed to be feared.”
Laurie said that she saw chaos erupting outside the house in the moments before the shooting.
“I was scared, but if I wasn’t I would’ve been able to really grab him and pull him in the back, but he was just dead set about what was going on back there, it was just too much,” Laurie said.
A woman who would not identify herself said the shooting was “unnecessary.”
“I was standing over the dog. They didn’t have to shoot the dog,” she cried.
Another resident, Tyreek Smith, who said he trains large dogs, argued that “the dog was only protecting his property.”
“You gotta know how to handle a dog — there are ways to do it without having to shoot the dog,” said Tyreek. “They didn’t have to shoot that dog. The dog was acting the way he should.”
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.