‘What if he shot my daughter?’ NYPD officer to explain why he shot ‘friendly’ pit bull (VIDEO)
Yvonne Rosado had called the New York Police Department because her former boyfriend and current subject of an order of protection attempted to enter the building on E. 183 Street in New York City’s borough of The Bronx in February. He had been long gone, however, by the time the officers showed up.
The 42-year-old woman was engaging in her weekly ritual of dancing with her dog, Spike, to a Kid Cudi song. “I dance around with him and I spin him with one paw,” she explained to the New York Daily News. When she heard something in the hallway, however, she opened the door – and the 70-pound pooch slipped out.
Rosado claimed that she screamed, "he's friendly! He's friendly!" as Spike slowly approached the officer, his tail wagging. But the cop, identified as Officer Ruben Cuesta, 28, stepped back and opened fire from three feet away.
Rosado said she intends to sue the city, and plans to file a grievance against Cuesta as well.
Officer Cuesta had been talking to Rosado’s 16-year-old neighbor, Serena Santiago, when Spike showed up. Her mother, Irma Sue Santiago, says she was upset about the shooting as well.
“What if he had missed the dog and shot my daughter?” she asked the Daily News. Santiago also claims that the incident was traumatizing to her daughter, saying “I heard the cops had to go to the hospital for ringing ears, but my daughter has to go to psychiatric therapy for this.”
Her family’s attorney, David Thompson, does not believe that shooting the dog was necessary.
“Don't fire your damn gun in an apartment house stairwell unless you absolutely, positively, 100 percent got to do it,” Thompson said.
Officer Cuesta will have to explain himself to department investigators.
“In all circumstances we have to leave it to the officer’s understanding of what’s happening at the scene as to what piece of equipment he might use – Taser, pepper spray, firearm,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told the Daily News. “In this instance he used the firearm, so now, as part of the investigation, he’ll have to justify what was going through his mind at that particular time.”
The department has yet to verify whether or not Cuesta was carrying a more potent type of pepper spray that the NYPD began using last year after the old version was found to be ineffective on dogs.