New York Woman Assaulted and Maced, Dog Beaten to Death – Says Police Refuse to Arrest Suspect
A New York City woman calls for justice after a homeless man attacked her and beat her dog to death with a stick.
Jessica Chrustic, 41, says she and her dog were attacked and sprayed with urine in broad daylight while walking through the park. Her golden retriever mix, Moose, was struck by the man and hospitalized. The dog died five days later from sepsis due to a perforated intestine. The attack occurred last August, but Chrustic said no arrest was made.
“When I turned around, Moose was then trying to protect me,” Chrustic said in a newly-released interview with Fox news. She said through tears, “I just wanted to protect my dog, and my dog was trying to protect me.”
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Two months later, a witness to the attack notified Chrustic that the attacker had returned to the park. Chrustic attempted to inform the police but was reportedly waved away. After unsuccessfully trying to bring police with a 911 call, Chrustic gave chase.
She was attacked a second time, with the homeless man spraying her entire body in mace. Chrustic said the man drew a weapon, the same stick he had used to kill Moose, and chased her down the road. “It’s the same thing he killed Moose with, and he’s chasing me down the street full speed… After that, I was like, ‘I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.’”
According to Chrustic, police it took police 40 minutes to respond to the 911 call. Four months after the second assault, the man still has not been arrested by police. The suspect has regularly been spotted strolling the park since, often carrying a garbage bag.
“You have a dangerous person who’s attacking people, who’s in a public space, who should be removed. Period… I can genuinely say I have a lot of PTSD right now.”
Chrustic has tried to convince law enforcement to act. She and a handful of community members joined a Zoom call with the NYPD’s 78th precinct, hoping to bring some kind of action. Commanding Officer Frank Souffrant reportedly told her, “We make mistakes, and I think in this situation, we may have dropped the ball.”
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Despite the admission, the police have not acted. Community members have since tried to organize to clean up the streets, forming a Guardian Angels-style neighborhood watch known as the Panthers, but it was disbanded after one meeting when protesters accused its majority-white membership of appropriating the name of the Black Panthers organization.
“This shouldn’t have had to come to this,” Chrustic told Fox News. “I shouldn’t have had to be attacked twice.”
Many in Chrustic’s community are opposed to dealing with her attacker. After the attack, the New York Times reported one of her neighbors, Martin Lofsnes, as saying,
“400 years of systematic racism which has prevented black people from building generational wealth through homeownership [is] resulting in the extreme disparity we see today. When it happens to you, you have to deal with it. You have to take a step back, even in that heated situation where her dog died, and say, ‘What does this do in the larger scheme of things?’”
Unfortunately, Chrustic’s case is not all that unique. According to NYPD data, citywide crime has increased by more than 32% over the past two years. Less than 30% of open cases were solved in the latest quarter reported by the department.
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“I think it’s gonna take someone else to be assaulted to have it be closed,” Chrustic said.
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