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Deranged homeless man kills dog, injures owner in unprovoked stick attack at NY park

Jessica Chrustic was taking her two-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever mix, Moose, for a walk when the assailant launched an unprovoked attack
Moose was out for a walk when a homeless man attacked him and his owner with a stick (YouTube/ABC 7 NY)
Moose was out for a walk when a homeless man attacked him and his owner with a stick (YouTube/ABC 7 NY)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: A beloved pet dog was fatally injured following an unprovoked attack from a deranged homeless man when the pooch was taking a walk in Prospect Park. 

Jessica Chrustic, 41, was taking her two-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever mix, Moose, for a walk when the assailant shouted angry comments about immigrants and sprayed a bottle of urine on them. The homeless man then attacked the duo with a stick and hit the animal so hard that it sustained a fatal intestinal injury. Jessica, a beekeeper by profession, was at the park with Moose around 6:30 am last Wednesday, August 3, when they came across the attacker, who is reportedly still at large this week.


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“He was just trying to protect me and he was just a dog. Why would you hit a dog? You can hit me, That’s bad enough,” Jessica told the New York Post through tears. She said she had seen the man before as he often walked around with a stick mumbling to himself. The dog owner explained that she usually tried to avoid him, and pulled her dog to the side as far away from him as possible when she saw him going through garbage on the morning of the attack. She said the man took out a bottle of liquid from his garbage bag, which she later understood was urine, and started spraying it on her and her dog. 


According to Jessica, the man was muttering something about immigrants taking over the park and swinging his stick around. She tried to escape with the dog, but the man caught up and pounced on them from behind. He struck her in the back and her pooch with a stick, leaving her with minor injuries. A nearby dogwalker who witnessed the incident yelled at the man to “Get the f**k away from her." Two bikers stopped at the scene as well. The man eventually fled the area and is still at large. Authorities told The Post they were looking for him at the time of publication.

Jessica rushed her dog to a Prospect Park vet after the incident, where Moose had one shattered tooth extracted. The owner then took the dog home without incident, but he suddenly started acting strange. “I thought maybe it’s just a reaction to all the pain medication,” she told The Post. The vet eventually realized the canine was suffering from a perforated intestine, and he didn't make it through the surgery. The doctor explained that while the dog was hit in the face, the way his body turned while trying to get away caused an injury to his side as well. “I want to know how he hasn’t been caught yet. People have seen him in the parks this weekend. It’s a very specific description. He’s hard to miss,” Jessica explained.



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The devastated owner said she knew the man was violent, but never thought he would come after her without provocation. “He’s got violent tendencies. I’ve never questioned whether or not he’s got violent tendencies,” she told The Post. “I cannot understand how the police have not found him yet. But when they do I want to charge to the fullest extent.” Jessica said multiple people had reached out to her following the incident, sharing similar experiences with the homeless man either attacking them or their dogs. “I’ve never felt unsafe in the park. There are plenty of people in the park who are unhoused. And it is unfortunate and I’ve worked very dedicatedly with the homeless population,” she told the newspaper, adding, “It is just this man who needs to be removed from the park. He has been a known presence in the park for years now."