EXCLUSIVE: Man accidentally shot by police in Queens during pit bull attack speaks out

SOUTH OZONE PARK, Queens (WABC) -- A burglary suspect in Queens who was shot by police as they tried to stop an attack by a pit bull is speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News.

It started as a landlord tenant dispute that quickly escalated when the landlord's pit bull went on the attack.

The victim hit by the gunfire is now facing charges.

It was not what Gary Petersen, Jr. had in mind for his 25th birthday Monday; crutches, constant pain, and a bullet fragment in his right leg.

"I didn't know I was shot. The officer told me, he stated it out of his own mouth, he told me sit on the floor. I was shot," Petersen said.

Earlier this month, a dispute with his landlord spilled out of his Gotham Road apartment in South Ozone Park onto Rockaway Boulevard.

Police responded and found a pair of dogs, one of them a pit bull named "Hectic", attacking Peterson.

"The officers attempted to intervene when the dog turned their attention to the cops, causing one uniformed service member to fire six rounds from his weapon. One male was struck accidentally in the right knee and removed to Jamaica," the NYPD said.

The bullet actually hit his left knee. Peterson says police got something else wrong as well.

"I never seen the dog turn and attack the police. I never see that. Basically, I feel that he is saying that to cover himself, which is, that wasn't how it went down," Peterson said.

The 25-year-old will meet with a lawyer Tuesday as he considers legal action against the NYPD.

In the meantime, he has no feeling in his lower left leg, he begins intensive therapy this week and he must return to the hospital after he discovered the bullet fragment in his right leg.

"There was one officer on the scene with a Taser. I want to know why the Taser wasn't pulled out? Why was it a firearm, a gun?" Paterson said.

Aside from his therapy and recovery, Peterson is also concerned with his defense as he is charged with burglary and criminal mischief in the incident. He has a court appearance scheduled for early next month.
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