Owner of service dog that attacked woman on subway set to face judge
From CBS New York:
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The owner of a dog that attacked another passenger in the subway is set to face a judge on Friday.
Ruben Roncallo, 53, was arrested Thursday and charged with reckless endangerment and assault, but insisted he’s not to blame.
“She attacked me first,” he told reporters while being walked out of a police station in handcuffs.
The pit bull latched onto a passenger’s foot and wouldn’t let go. The incident, which was caught on video, happened around 3 p.m. Friday on the 4 train approaching Wall Street.
Witnesses say a woman and Roncallo got into an argument after he allowed the dog to sit next to her on a seat on the train.
Tahysi Kyng recorded the video.
“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. The dog then latched onto the woman’s shoe and wouldn’t let go.
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.
Sources say Roncallo was known to transit police who recognized him from the video that has since gone viral, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
The MTA allows dogs on subway cars but they must be contained to a carrying case unless it’s a service animal. Roncallo said the pit bull “was a service dog.”
The NYPD confirms the pit bull is a registered service animal and both police and animal control said they will not being taking any action against the dog.
Owners are not required to carry ID for service animals, but police and MTA officials are allowed to remove animals from the subway if they pose a threat.
The victim’s mother told CBS2 she was treated at the hospital for her injuries.