Woman allegedly kicks police dog in teeth

Photos of Bear, a member of the NYPD Transit Bureau's K-9 Unit, and his handler, Officer Vincent Tieniber. Both sustained injuries trying to break up a fight.

June 19, 2013 2:31:53 PM PDT
Bear, a member of the NYPD Transit Bureau's K-9 Unit, sustained four broken teeth and cuts to his tongue when he and his handler responded to the scene of a fight at the 59th Street Subway Station in Manhattan.

Police Officer Vincent Tieniber, 36, sustained a sprained wrist. He was coming to the aid of a fellow officer on the southbound platform of the No. 4 subway at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue Tuesday at 11:15 a.m.

Police Officer Rafael Diaz called for assistance to help break up a fight involving four women, ages 19 to 31.

One woman, 19, was being choked by another 19-year-old. The two women, ages 31 and 22, pushed Officer Diaz as he attempted to stop the assault on the 19-year-old victim.

Officer Tieniber and Bear arrived on the scene moments later.

While in the process of handcuffing one of the women, Ravenia Matos-Davis, age 22 of Queens, Officer Tieniber sustained a sprain to his wrist.

The same woman kicked Bear twice in the German shepherd's mouth, cracking two teeth and chipping two others, cutting his tongue, and leaving scuff marks on his snout.

Although injured, "Bear kept the woman's foot in his mouth, and held on until I could handcuff her," Officer Tieniber recounted.

Bear's damaged teeth didn't penetrate the woman's footwear.

Bear was treated and released from the Animal Medical Center at 510 East 62nd Street in Manhattan.

He is due to return Wednesday when his two canine teeth are expected to be capped, and two others shaved where they are currently chipped, after which time Bear is expected to return to full duty.

Officer Tieniber was treated and released from Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan today. He will also be re-evaluated in coming days to determine when he can return to duty.

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 on the job for five years; Officer Tieniber for 11.

The dog's attacker was charged with injuring a police animal, the top charge among four that included disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration (OGA).

Last month, the Legislature passed a bill which makes killing or injuring a police animal a Class E felony. It is currently a Class A misdemeanor.

The legislation, expected to be sent soon to the Governor for his consideration, would become effective November 1.

19-year-old Alexandria James of the Bronx was charged with strangulation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Her 19-year-old victim sustained bruising, scratches, and reported pain to her neck but refused medical attention.

Tabricia Moore, 31, also of the Bronx, was charged with OGA, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.