Authorities are in pursuit of a man accused of launching a violent attack on a dog in the heart of New York City’s Central Park.
The horrifying incident happened near East 106th Street and Fifth Avenue inside the park on Saturday night at about 8:30 p.m.
According to the police, a 51-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were out for a stroll with their two dogs, a chihuahua and a pit bull-German shepherd mix named Eli. Both of their pets were on a leash during their walk.
The man believed to be responsible for the incident was with his three dogs, thought to be pit bull terriers, that were not on leashes.
Onlookers noted that the man’s dogs began to act aggressively towards the couple’s pets, which led to a heated dispute. As the woman attempted to break up the scuffle between the dogs, the suspect reportedly drew a switchblade and attacked Eli multiple times.
An eyewitness recalled the shocking scene: a gravely injured dog lying motionless surrounded by a pool of blood, with three unleashed pit bulls nearby and a man attempting to control the situation.
The loss of Eli left his owners shattered and filled with anger. Despite being rushed to an animal hospital, the vets were unable to save the pet.
Megan Stafford, a local dog walker, expressed her disbelief and sorrow over the incident. She said it was distressing to think that someone could harm a harmless pet and was puzzled by such an act of cruelty.
The suspect, who quickly left the scene after the confrontation, is said to have been wearing an orange shirt, an orange hat, and blue jeans. As the investigation continues, authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward.