License to kill: Midwood leaders demand pit bulls terrorizing area be shot on sight

Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The blood-thirsty pit bulls that have terrorized Midwood for months and turned dog-walking residents into stick-wielding vigilantes have finally made the NYPD’s most wanted list — but residents say they won’t feel safe until the hellish hounds are apprehended, or, better yet, gunned down in the street.

“[The police have] got to use their guns, whether it’s a Taser gun or the other gun they have with them,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D–Borough Park) told reporters last week, outraged that the police have yet to grab up the cruel canines that injured a number of neighborhood pets and killed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel over the last six months. “When there is a situation where someone has been attacked, where blood is in the streets…you gotta shoot the dog, plain and simple.”

But cops are not ready to open fire on the dogs — at least not yet.

“That is a last resort for us — we don’t want to shoot an animal if we don’t have to,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct. “We have a cage ready and available and if we have to we will tranquilize the dogs.”

Cops from the 70th Precinct say they’ve spotted and chased down the vicious dogs as media attention increased from the story that we broke a week ago — but the boys in blue were unable to fully capture the roving animals.

“We had one of the dogs in a corner, but it jumped a fence,” Rodriguez explained. “We know the importance of this in the community and we’re taking it as a priority.”

But Rodriguez’s comment is a complete reversal from those made by police earlier this month, when a spokesman claimed the NYPD wasn’t in the dog catching business.

“We’re not going to be driving around looking for dogs,” the NYPD spokesman told us. “If there’s a dog out there that may injure someone, then we’ll try and have Animal Care and Control pick it up.”

Residents say the pit bulls have emerged from this empty lot on Ocean Avenue between Avenues H and I — but police have been unable to catch them so far.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The city has received six complaints about the pit bulls since April — but Animal Care and Control has not found the dogs despite “several” trips to the neighborhood, according to Richard Gentles, a department spokesperson.

Residents say the pit bulls hunt smaller dogs in the area around the Long Island Railroad tracks near Brooklyn College. Two more families came forward just last week, claiming that the dogs have terrorized them.

Milton Pincus says the dogs attacked his yorkie Pinky twice in the last six months, biting her more than 12 times on Avenue I between East 18th and East 19th Streets, leaving his dog with wounds that needed stitches.

During one of the confrontations with the four legged hoodlums, Pincus’s wife came prepared — chasing the canines off with a stick she now carries for her and her pooch’s protection.

Phillip Frenkel says his dog Masha has been attacked multiple times as well — costing him thousands of dollars in veterinary fees. His wife now walks with a stick as well, Frenkel says.

Many residents in the neighborhood have adapted similar tactics — carrying a stick or a cane for protection — and wonder why the police department and city’s Animal Care and Control haven’t captured the dogs after six months of reported attacks.

“[It’s the NYPD’s] duty to keep the streets from turning into a jungle where dogs behave like wild animals,” said Frenkel. “These dogs are very scary, Sooner or later it will be people who will suffer.”

Representatives from Animal Care and Control have set up cages in the empty lot on Ocean Avenue between Avenues H and I — but have yet to apprehend the dogs.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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