A little girl who was giving money to a homeless woman on 79th Street and Broadway was bitten in the face by the woman’s pit bull, according to a police detective and a witness.
The incident occurred around 3:40 p.m. on the southwest corner of the block. The girl and her mother were walking by the woman when the mother gave the girl a dollar to give to the woman, police said. As she handed the woman the dollar, the dog leaped up and bit the girl in the face. The dog “slammed her to the sidewalk” and both the mother and the homeless woman leaped up to try to pull the dog off, said T. Nardini, a longtime Upper West Side resident who witnessed the attack while he was walking his dogs on the block. Another man in a “marine jacket” jumped in to pull the dog off the girl, and was finally able to pull the dog off, Nardini said.
“The little girl was bleeding profusely from her face,” he said. “My prayers go out to the little girl, who has paid such an unnecessary price in this horrific event.”
Police put the girl and her mother into the squad car and took them to the hospital, Nardini said. The dog was taken to an Animal Care center, police said.
The woman is being interviewed at the 20th precinct. Nardini said he has seen the woman on the corner for years, and has often been concerned about whether the woman has the dog under control.
Police say they expect to have more information on the incident later.
Correction: We initially misidentified the possible dog owner, but removed the reference 15 minutes after this story was posted.