Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the dog barked at the man, per information from police. The dog’s owner said this was incorrect. The post has been updated with accurate information from Moose’s owner about the encounter.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Park Slope woman is seeking justice after she says a violent and dangerous man fatally attacked her dog last week in Prospect Park.
The attack happened around 6:30 a.m. last Wednesday, during a routine morning walk.
Jessica Chrustic said she took her dog, Moose, to Prospect Park every day. But last Wednesday, they were attacked by a man believed to be homeless and living in the park for several years.
“I’m just gutted,” said Jessica Chrustic. “I’m shattered. I’m gutted. There are just no words.”
Chrustic said she has seen the man in the park for years, and always avoided him. But last Wednesday, Chrustic said the man started following them. He then allegedly doused them in urine from a plastic bottle, chased them through the park and up a staircase, and then hit both with a large walking stick.
“He was swinging his stick at us, and I made it halfway up the stairs and he hit me in the back,” said Chrustic. “I was just so concerned about getting my dog away because he was just trying to protect me at the moment. And so, we got to the top of the stairs and the man had already caught up to us, and he hit Moose right in the face.”
Chrustic said Moose was bleeding from his mouth. She immediately got him home, where she noticed that his tooth was completely shattered.
Moose underwent emergency surgery, and Chrustic thought everything was fine. But, she said by Monday, it became clear Moose was just not acting like himself. She rushed him to the emergency vet, where she received the worst news.
“They said that he was septic, and that something had been perforated from the attack when he was hit, and I just wasn’t aware of it,” said Chrustic.
Moose tragically died, and Chrustic is now afraid that the attacker will strike again.
“I’ve gotten multiple messages saying that not only have other people experienced similar situations with this particular man – very specific description, there’s no question – but that they’ve seen him there this weekend,” said Chrustic. “How is that possible?”
Chrustic has already gone to police and filed a report. She said the attacker sticks out and is easily noticeable.
“You cannot mistake him,” said Chrustic. “He’s got dreads wrapped up very high on his head. And he carries a large walking stick and a garbage bag full of recycling.”
“I just want this person found, and I want justice to be done,” said Chrustic. “And I want it to be done immediately.”
PIX11 News reached out to the NYPD for comment. We were told that the 78th precinct, Detectives Squad, and Animal Cruelty Unit are working to find the suspect.