NEW YORK (PIX11) - An NYPD Transit Bureau officer and his police dog were both injured after trying to break up a brawl inside the 59th St. and Lexington Ave. subway station Tuesday morning, according to police.
Officer Vincent Tieniber, 36, and his German Shepherd K-9 unit ‘Bear’, responded to the 4-train platform at 11:15 a.m. to help break up a fight between four women.
An officer had stepped in to stop a 19-year-old who was choking another woman, also 19, when the other two women jumped him, shoving him off. Tieneber was able to grab one of the women, 22-year-old Ravenia Matos-Davis, of Queens, and attempted to cuff her. During the struggle Tieneber sprained his wrist, and Matos-Davis kicked Bear twice in the mouth, cracking two teeth, chipping two others and cutting his tongue.
“Bear kept the woman’s foot in his mouth, and held on until I could handcuff her,” Officer Tieniber said.
Bear was treated at the Animal Medical Center on E. 62nd St. in Manhattan, and has another appointment Wednesday to have two of the teeth capped and the other two shaved smooth. Tieniber was treated and released from Beth Israel Medical Center.
Matos-Davis was charged with injuring a police animal, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. While still a Class A misdemeanor, last month a bill passed that will make it a Class E felony to injure or kill a police animal. That bill takes effect Nov. 1.
Tabricia Moore, 31, of the Bronx was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.
Alexandria James, 19, of the Bronx, was charged with strangulation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. The 19-year-old she had in a headlock sustained bruising, scratches and pain to her neck, but refused medical attention.
According to police:
“Bear and his handler have been in tough spots before. In 2011, at the Broadway Junction station of the A train in Brooklyn, Officer Tieniber spotted three men wanted for robbery, one armed with a pair of scissors. Officer Tieniber lined all of the suspects against the station wall, and handcuffed them as Bear stood guard, with his big brown eyes fixed intently on the three. The same year, Officer Tieniber came upon an assault in progress by a suspect armed with a razor at the Atlantic Pacific station of the N,Q,R line. There, the suspect froze at Bear’s bark, allowing Officer Tieniber to make the arrest without further incident. The duo have also been responsible for tracking wanted suspects and recovering ballistic evidence, employing the combination of Officer Tieniber’s handling skills and Bear’s olfactory prowess. Bear, age 6, has been one the job for five years; Officer Tieniber for 11.”