An unleashed pit bull survived being shot in the head by police at a busy Manhattan intersection Monday afternoon, cops and witnesses said.
The dog’s owner — described by his friends as a drifter who has the dog for protection — was in front of a KFC fast food restaurant at E. 14th St. and Second Ave. about 4:15 p.m. when he appeared to be having a seizure, witnesses said.
Three cops surrounded the man and tried to roust him, angering the dog, according to witnesses.
“Instead of calling the ambulance, they started kicking him,” said lower East Side resident Aida Feliciano.
“The homeless guy looked like he was having a seizure — the dog started acting defensive,” said Christian Pimentel, 21. “The dog started barking at the officer.”
Alejandro Cararubia, 28, who works at a nearby restaurant, saw the shooting.
“The dog barked and jumped at the cop. The cop shot him in self-defense,” Cararubia said.
Passersby on the block, including small children, began to cry at the sight of the bloodied animal, Pimentel said.
“The dog was just defending its owner and the cops shot it in the head,” said deli clerk Ines Pauling.
“Nobody wants to see a dog shot. The dog just screeched on the floor, blood oozing from his head. . . . It had his tongue out. It was sad,” said Pimentel.
A trail of the dog’s blood was seen from the sidewalk to the middle of the road where it limped before collapsing.
“If you kick the dog’s owner, the dog is obviously going to attack,” said Alan Crosby, 40, who saw the attack.
Police said the dog survived and was being cared for at an East Harlem shelter. The unidentified homeless man and the shooting officer were taken to Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries.
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