Officer, police dog injured in Manhattan subway brawl
A police dog and his handler were injured Tuesday while breaking up a fight between four women inside a Manhattan subway station, police said.
Bear, a 6-year-old German shepherd, suffered four broken teeth and lacerations to his tongue when a 22-year-old woman kicked him in the face. Officer Vincent Tieniber, 36, sprained his wrist during the struggle, police said.
Tieniber and Bear came to the aid of another officer, Rafael Diaz, who was trying to break up a fight between four women, ages 19 to 31, on the 4 train platform at the 59th Street and Lexington Avenue station at about 11:15 a.m.
One of the women, 19, was choking another 19-year-old woman, police said. The two other women pushed Diaz when he tried to intervene.
Tieniber and Bear arrived at the scene shortly afterward. While arresting 22-year-old Ravenia Matos-Davis, Tieniber sustained a sprained wrist. The same woman kicked Bear in the mouth, “cracking two teeth and chipping two others, cutting his tongue, and leaving scuff marks on his snout,” according to police spokesman Paul Browne.
Though he was injured, Bear did not abandon his duties.
“Bear kept the woman’s foot in his mouth, and held on until I could handcuff her,” Tieniber said.
Bear’s damaged teeth did not penetrate the woman’s shoe, police said. He was treated at Animal Medical Center on East 62nd Street and is expected to return to full duty on Wednesday. He is expected to have two canine teeth capped and two others shaved where they were chipped.
Tieniber was treated and released from Beth Israel Medical Center.
In 2011, Bear stood guard while Tieniber arrested three robbery suspects, one armed with scissors, inside a Brooklyn subway station. The same year, Tieniber came upon an assault in progress by a suspect armed with a razor at the Atlantic Pacific station in Brooklyn. Bear’s bark “froze” the suspect, allowing Tieniber to make the arrest.
Matos-Davis was charged Tuesday with injuring a police animal, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.
Tabricia Moore, 31, of the Bronx, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Alexandria James, 19, also of the Bronx was charged with strangulation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Her 19-year-old victim refused medical attention for bruising, scratches and reported pain to her neck.