An Upper East Side man was left bloody and shaken, clutching his small white dog as he described being assaulted to NYPD officers at John Jay Park, the victim of a violent crime at the hands of a raging stranger whom he had asked to clean up after his pet — another dog that had pooped on the pavement.
“He punched me in the mouth,” the 32-year-old victim explained, “It felt like it was as hard as he could.”
The victim told Upper East Site that he spoke to the stranger on Tuesday morning before 11:30 am, after the man’s dog relieved itself on the ground in the seating area with benches in the southeast corner of John Jay Park, located on East 77th Street between York Avenue and the FDR Drive.
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“He was in the bathroom while his dog was running around and then he came out, lit up a joint and was standing over there and then his dog ran over and pooped at the tree,” the victim said, “I approached him and asked him ‘Hey, your dog pooped over here. Could you please pick up your dog’s poop?”
“He said, ‘Cool man, leave me the fuck alone!” the victim explained.
While the defecating dog was friendly, according to the victim whose mouth was left bloody, the animal’s human was not, his bite being being much worse than his bark.
“I offered him a poop bag, then he started escalating, he started threatening and he lunged at me a bit,” the victim explained.
Things got worse as the stranger became angry, then punched him in the face — the haymaker busting his lip open and knocking one of the man’s front teeth loose, the victim and witnesses told Upper East Site.
“After punching me, after I was on the phone with the police, he went over, got a dog poop bag and cleaned it up,” he said.
A retired couple who witnessed the entire assault unfold in front of them could not believe what the violent behavior they saw in a usually quiet Upper East Side park and said they had called 911 to report the assault in progress to police.
“You don’t know if they have a weapon, that’s the other thing,” the wife explained.
Dog poop covered sidewalks have been a contentious issue on the Upper East Side for some time — even prior to a study by Marymount Manhattan College first reported by Upper East Site, which found that UES residents are constantly tracking dog shit into their homes.
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Last month, Upper East Side City Council Member Julie Menin launched a ‘Curb Your Dog’ contest in an effort to get selfish dog owners to end their shitty ways. Menin put a call out for students and adults to design a poster for their new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of cleaning up after their pets.
“It’s frankly unacceptable and should be an expectation, not an option to pick up your dog’s waste,” Menin said in March, announcing the new efforts. “This contest will serve as a reminder to dog owners to take responsibility for cleaning up after their beloved pet.”
NYPD officers quickly nabbed the suspect after dispatchers put out a description of the attacker over their police radios. He was seen in handcuffs being held inside the park by cops, who likely brought him back to the Upper East Side crime scene in order to have him identified by the victim.
Eventually brought to a waiting police interceptor, the suspect did not need any assistance getting into the vehicle despite being handcuffed — apparently quite familiar with the procedure. The suspect’s brown dog was also taken into custody by the police.
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Salvador Cristancho, 25, of Queens, is now charged facing a single count of assault, police say.
As for the shaken-up victim, he was checked out by paramedics at the scene and was making plans for an emergency trip to the dentist. Now, he wishes he never spoke up.
“I had a great smile before now,” he explained, “I fully regret the entire situation.”
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