The German Shepherd lost an eye, and the alleged slasher — who worked for an oil delivery business where the dog stood guard — was arrested on a felony aggravated cruelty charge.
Andrew Owens, 58, was arraigned this morning in City Court after spending the night in jail.
“The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” owner Paul Tocco said. “She always barked at him. He (Owens) was well aware the dog didn’t like him, and he knew to stay away from her.”
A detective for the SPCA of Westchester said the slashing was unprovoked. It took place around 7 p.m., as the dog, a four-year-old named Jenna, was leashed outside Valley Oil at 707 Nepperhan Ave.
Owens, who worked there as a handyman, had threatened to kill the dog in the past and told authorities it had bitten him about a year ago.
Last night, he “egged on” the barking dog and charged at her, Detective Ken Ross III said. He allegedly then pulled out a nine-inch folding knife.
“He taunted her with his arm, raised his arm with a knife and slashed the dog across the face,” he said. “He cut the dog over the right eye, all the way down to the eye socket bone.”
Tocco, whose family runs the business, said he heard the dog’s barking, went outside and saw Owens strike the dog.
“The dog let out a loud yelp, and when I ran there, she turned her head toward me and I seen the whole right side of her head bleeding,” Tocco said.
Rather than going after Owens, Tocco placed Jenna in a work van and drove her to a Greenburgh animal hospital. A veterinarian performed emergency surgery, but the eye couldn’t be saved, Ross said. Today, the dog was transferred to an animal hospital in Scarsdale.
“The dog is supposedly in good spirits and is okay now,” Ross said. “But it did lose the eye.”
The detective said he’s uncertain why Owens allegedly acted out on this occassion.
“He never liked the dog,” Ross said. “The dog did not bite him yesterday. It appears everything was done out of anger. He might have just snapped.”
Owens, who lives nearby, was arrested at his apartment at 10:20 p.m.
Tocco said he will never allow Owens to work there again. “We don’t want him around here anymore,” he said.
|Dr. Cheryl Gross, V.D.M, is pictured with five year old Jenna at the Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale, The dog's eye was cut by a person Monday night in Yonkers. (Mark Vergari / The Journal News)|