Police arrest alleged Fort Greene Park dog stabber

dog stabber
Police have arrested Steven Horn for allegedly stabbing a dog named Bandit in Fort Greene Park in February.
Courtesy of Bandit’s owners / Noah Harlan

To the dog pound!

Police have cuffed the notorious ruff-ian who allegedly stabbed a dog in Fort Greene Park on Feb. 20, according to authorities.

Prosecutors charged the accused canine knifer, 61-year-old Steven Horn, on March 4 for aggravated animal cruelty, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, and injuring an animal, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. 

The arrest came almost two weeks after Horn, a Clinton Hill resident, allegedly stabbed a 3-year-old Great Dane and Bernese Mountain Dog mix named Bandit while walking his furry companion at the greenspace during off-leash hours.  

Bandit’s owner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said that Horn whipped out a pocket knife after Bandit began to approach his dog, a Basenji named Rex, that Bandit had met before. 

The two dogs have gotten territorial and aggressive, but have never harmed each other, according to Bandit’s owner, who said he had agreed to keep Bandit away from Rex at Horn’s request. Bandit has never hurt any dogs or humans, the owner said.

But during off-leash hours before 9 am on Feb. 20, Bandit trotted up to Horn and his partner, who was with the Basenji. Bandit’s owner said he signaled to Horn that he would move Bandit away, and was about to restrain Bandit when Horn allegedly took out a pocket knife and stuck it into Bandit’s left side.

dog stabber
The man who allegedly stabbed Bandit walked out of the park with his dog and his partner.Noah Harlan

“There was no tussle between the dogs when he bent down and stabbed Bandit in the side.” Bandit’s owner said. “It was not in self defense at all. It was not provoked … That guy could have removed his dog and walked away.”

The suspect then said, “I’m going to f—ing kill your dog,” before quietly leaving the park with his partner, according to Bandit’s owner and several other witnesses. 

Dog owners gathered around Bandit to help stop the bleeding and alert Park authorities of the incident. Bandit was rushed off to BluePearl Pet Hospital in Gowanus, where he stayed for more than seven hours, according to Bandit’s owner, who added the pooch is now recovering at home.

The stabbing shocked dog walkers who flock to Fort Greene Park every morning for off-leash hours.

“It was crazy,” said Rachel Poston, who was walking her black Labrador mix when the stabbing occurred. “I walked over, and [Bandit’s owner] had his hand over his chest, and there was a ton of blood coming out.”

Bandit’s owner said his biggest fear is that the stabbing will make Bandit fearful of people or the park he’s frequented since he was a pup.

“I would be most heartbroken about this if he has PTSD from this — if he distrusts humans or the park,” said the owner, who said he’s never heard of a dog attack in his years of visiting Fort Greene Park. “That any dog owner would act like this to a dog is kind of unfathomable to all dog owners.”

When asked to respond to the allegation that the attack was unwarranted, Horn’s lawyer scoffed.

“Of course it wasn’t unwarranted,” said Murray Richman, who declined to speak further on the case. “I think it would be best to respond in the appropriate fashion in the court.”

Horn’s charges include three misdemeanors and one felony that allow for a $5,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to two years. A judge may impose both the fine and the prison sentence.