Saturday, April 10, 2010
7610: Biased Bow Wow.
From The Chicago Sum-Times…
‘Racist’ dog defended after attack
YONKERS, N.Y.—A dog said to have a tendency to bark at minorities is being called “racist”—a charge its owner, Paul Tocco, denies.
A year ago, the animal, Jenna, bit Andrew Owens, a black handyman at Valley Oil, a heating oil business that Tocco’s family runs.
Recently, the 58-year-old Owens “egged on” the barking dog, which was chained outside the business, police said.
Owens then pulled out a 9-inch folding knife and slashed the dog across the face, through the eye socket, police said.
He admitted to the crime and was charged with felony aggravated cruelty. In explaining the incident, Tocco first told a local reporter that the dog had it in for Owens—and other minorities, for that matter.
“The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” Tocco said. “She always barked at him [Owens]. He was well aware the dog didn’t like him, and he knew to stay away from her.”
Tocco is now backing off that statement, and several other people who know and love the 4-year-old canine have come to Jenna’s defense, saying she’s no racist and, in fact, has many black and Hispanic friends.
“All of my friends are minorities, and the dog has never attacked any of them,” said Richard Lopez, 20, a Hispanic who once lived with Tocco and helped take care of Jenna. “She wouldn’t harm a fly.”