Monday, July 7, 2008

Last Week's Pit Bull Attacks; Mugging at Dog Beach?

A follow up on last week’s pit bull attack on Staten Island and two subsequent maulings, both by pit bulls, from this past Saturday's Daily News:

After Piotrowski was critically wounded by two pit bulls on Tuesday, his neighbors in Port Richmond, S.I., complained they had dialed 911 and 311 countless times during the past year hoping authorities would seize the dogs. Police and the city's Animal Care and Control said they had no detailed reports about the dogs, despite acknowledging that nine calls were logged about them.

Even though Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly called dog maulings "increasingly a case of concern," there is no clear line of responsibility to deal with threatening dogs.

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Worried neighbors have the option of calling 311 to report a scary pooch, but those complaints are often stymied by long delays and inaction, critics complain. The 311 call goes to the Department of Health in the event the dogs is roaming without a leash, lacks a licence [sic] or has bitten someone. If the DOH decides to pick up the case, a warning letter is sent to the owner's address. This process can take weeks, putting more lives in danger.

One wonders what this general sloppiness and lack of accountability says about the supposed statistics we keep seeing quoted that dog bites are down. It might be that the dog bites are not being reported, or recorded by the DOH.

Also, this news report is wrong in one important detail: if the unleashed dog is in a park, the 311 call goes not to the DOH, but to the DOPR, which—as we’ve seen repeatedly—does nothing about it.

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From the July 7 Queens Ledger:

A young girl trying to enjoy herself at the “Doggie Beach” in Prospect Park underwent a terrifying experience when she was mugged at gunpoint on June 24.
She was reportedly with several friends when she somehow found herself separated from the rest of the group. Alone at around 6:35 p.m., she was approached by five people - four males and one female - who surrounded her. One of the men pulled out a gun while the others took her cell phone and ran away.

The June 26 NY Post says that the attack occurred on June 25, that the gunman also took cash, and that the cellphone was a Sidekick.

Not that the girl deserved to be mugged (if that’s what really happened; we’re suspicious whenever it says “somehow found herself separated from the rest of the group”), but one wonders what it means “enjoy herself at the “Doggie Beach”. Signs clearly say that the beach isn’t open to unleashed dogs until 9 P.M.


noisejoke said... I do appreciate you having some sense of fairness and recently printing some of my comments, albeit edited. For a moment, I thought I might continue to converse with you, lay aside the jokes and teasing, and engage in an annual discussion. However, this post, to me more than any other of yours up to now, reveals your outlook and prejudices. You took a tiny police blotter report of an unfortunate event, a mugging of a 14yr old that occurred near Prospect's dog beach (perhaps a result of a dogged Google search for certain Off Leash related terms) that clearly has no indication of any canines being present whether on or off leash. Your evidence is only via a tortured interpretation of the Queens Ledger's writer's statement that the teen was "trying to enjoy herself at the Doggie Beach..." The NY Post entry states she was "near" the beach. Are you seriously trying to exploit this event that is unrelated in any way to your cause?

Datnioides said...

Maybe it's because Tupper Thomas keeps banging the drum over and over .. "off leash dogs have made the parks safer". By that logic I would be more secure hanging out by Dog Beach than I would be in, say, the Ravine, since dogs can be seen playing off leash in the Dog Beach all day long. Hence, getting mugged near Dog Beach would be an unexpected if not ironic event.