A Brooklyn woman whose dog died after being attacked by a homeless man claims the NYPD closed an investigation into the case, which sparked a bitter disagreement among neighbors.
Jessica Chrustic, 40, told the New York Post on Monday that NYPD officers had closed the investigation after a search for the attacker in Prospect Park was unsuccessful.
“When they sent me away, I thanked them for their time and then they told me they closed the case,” Chrustic told the outlet.
Krustik, a professional beekeeper, was walking his golden retriever mix Moose in the park on the morning of August 3 when a homeless man brandished a large stick and attacked them. The dog died a few days later from internal injuries.
Online calls to bring Moose’s killer to justice have sparked outrage among some locals in the progressive enclave — who have suggested the police should not be called in to handle a dispute over a black suspect they consider vulnerable.
An NYPD spokesperson denied Chrustic’s claim that the case was closed in a statement to DailyMail.com: “The investigation is active and ongoing.”
Jessica Chrustic, 40, said NYPD officers told her Monday they had closed the investigation into a homeless man who fatally attacked his dog in Prospect Park.
The alleged attacker appears above. Chrustic said the attacker first splashed him and Mouse with a urine bottle, then hit them with a long stick.
Mouse had a chipped tooth and later died of sepsis from a perforated intestine, an injury that vets didn’t initially discover.
“Since the incident, the NYPD has taken ongoing investigative actions to bring the person responsible to justice,” the department said.
“The NYPD investigated the park with witnesses, posted images of the suspect and increased patrols in the area.”
The attack happened in the early hours of the morning at 6 a.m. on a man who was walking with Chrustic Moose and was walking through a trash can next to a hiking trail.
She said the attacker first splashed her and Mouse with a bottle of urine, then swung a long stick to protect her and hit both her and the dog.
Chrustic escaped serious injury, but Moose had a chipped tooth and later died of sepsis from a perforated intestine, an injury that vets didn’t initially detect.
The case has been divisive in the liberal enclave of Park Slope, which borders Prospect Park, with some neighbors calling for an all-out manhunt for the attacker and others insisting that social justice concerns demand mercy.
Police released this sketch of the suspect. Area residents say they often see the man in Prospect Park, but claim the NYPD has done little to catch him.
Moose, a golden retriever mix killed by a homeless man in Prospect Park on August 3
The debate took place on neighborhood apps like NextDoor, where some users were horrified by calls to arrest a suspect who appeared to be black and emotionally unstable and homeless.
One neighbor, Martin Lofsnes, urged neighbors to “consider 400 years of systematic racism. It has prevented blacks from creating generational wealth through home ownership, resulting in the extreme inequality we see today.”
Lofsnes, 52, told the New York Times: “It’s easy to say you’re pro-prison reform and you’re liberal.
Christian Nammak, 59, tried to form a neighborhood watch, but the group broke up in chaotic discussions about social justice.
‘You have to deal with it when it happens to you. In that heated situation where your dog died, you have to take a step back and ask, “What does this have to do with the bigger picture?” you have to say
Other neighbors, outraged by the attack, unsuccessfully tried to form a neighborhood watch patrol they called the Park Slope Panthers.
“Do we want to organize a community safety patrol and take back our park? Think what the Guardian Angels did in the 70s/early 80s to take back the subways,” Panthers organizer Christian Nammak, 59, wrote in a social media post announcing the group. We might as well wear a cool beret. I’m serious.’
Nammak, a financial advisor who participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2008, decided to organize a group to clean up the neighborhood, describing his politics as “left of Lenin.”
The Park Slope Panthers, modeled after the Guardian Angels, disbanded after a single chaotic meeting disrupted by protesters.
“The goal is to be the eyes and ears and take back our neighborhood,” read the call to action at the MeetUp.
But after a single chaotic meeting disrupted by protesters, the Panthers disbanded.
Protesters accused the predominantly white group of appropriating their name from the Black Panthers and supporting a racist police state.
“Using the Panthers as your band name is kind of gross to me. According to Common Sense, this feels contrary to what the Black Panthers would stand for,” said one dissenter.
Another person — a white woman named Sky — chimed in to discuss the definition of crime.
“Crime is an abstract term that means nothing in many ways,” he said. “The structure of crime is socially constructed to target black and poor people.”
Anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).