|An Afternoon in Washington Square Park
||[Nov. 4th, 2015|11:39 pm]
So I had an interesting afternoon.
I had a two-hour window between classes so I got lunch and went to hang out in Washington Square Park, which was packed with people and lovely. I'm sitting on the grass there in my stocking feet (shoe issues, podiatrist visit tomorrow) and noticed a couple of possibly-homeless guys maybe 50 feet away, talking loudly, swaying back and forth, the usual. I'm working on a couple of classes and look up to see one of the PHG getting in the face (literally) of an older guy (60s?), who had a dog on a leash nearby by. This was right near me, maybe 10 feet. PHG is yelling at Older Guy, "your DOG bit me in the FACE, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?" I see he does indeed have a small wound on his nose that's bleeding. OG is backing away, not saying much and PHG hauls off and SOCKS OG in the face, knocking him to the ground. OG is trying to stand back up and stumbles back down again. PHG is still yelling at him, "WHAT are you gonna DO about it?" I jump up, pepper spray in hand, and jump between them, asking OG "are you okay? Should I call 911?" PHG is lunging forward and I stuck out a hand, saying "leave him alone!" (Like--CRINGE, Clara. "Leave him alone"? Couldn't I have said something more authoritative like keep your distance? Oy.) OG said to me "no, I'm not okay..." and I whipped out my phone. The best part was when PHG moved backwards at one point and came within range of the doggie who was still on the leash attached to a fence post. Dog went to TOWN on PHG's ankle. Doggie saw PHG attacking his human and he was having none of it. (I was very proud of him--good doggie! Don't come near me but good doggie!)
OG take doggie and stumbles out of the park. PHG is lurching after him, and now he's really bellowing. He's screaming at people on the bench in front of me and I'm on the phone with 911, giving a description of PHG (I'm sure they could hear him on the phone), telling them exactly where in the park we were. The dispatcher asked me "what does he look like--is he black or Hispanic?" "Uh, actually he's white!" She said they'd send out a call (or whatever they said) but as it turned out there were already cops in the park, pretty close by, who kind of strolled over. Good timing, guys! Would've been nice if you'd stepped in earlier. A few other spectators and I spoke to the cops and eventually PHG showed up, cops in tow, handcuffed. The cops asked me where the victim had gone and I pointed--they thought he'd disappeared because of the dog, because the dog had bitten someone. The other spectators and I were discussing this--I was saying that anyone with a lick of sense doesn't just shove their head toward a strange dog. You ask the owner if you can pet the dog, you ask if it's friendly. And then you slowly extend your hand to the dog so it can smell you. Don't ever put your face near a strange dog. Dogs are not humans, they are subject to their instincts, they will react unpredictably. That's the risk you take when you put yourself into their space. I would've had no sympathy for him even before he attacked OG and was screaming at him.
The kicker was that 30 minutes later PHG is strolling around, free. The cops didn't book him. I get that the victim vanished but you had at least 30 witnesses and he ATTACKED the guy. He'll undoubtedly do it again. I guess they didn't want the administrative hassle. Only in New York!