‘There’s an African American man threatening my life’

Woman phones NYPD after being told to leash her dog in Central Park: Melody Cooper / @MelodyMCooper

A woman told New York police that a man was “threatening” her because he asked her to put her dog on a leash.

The man started videoing after he appeared to have asked the woman to leash her dog, in line with Central Park rules.

The 69-second video was posted on Twitter on Monday night, and has since caused widespread indignation amongst its 15 million viewers.

“It is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash,” said the man’s sister on Twitter, where she posted the video.

Her brother is heard repeating “please don’t come close”, behind the camera, as the woman grabs her dog’s neck brace and walks towards the camera.

She then demands that he stops videoing, and threatens to phone the police.

“Please call the cops”, the man is heard saying. “Please, tell them whatever you like.”

She responds: “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”.

Whilst her dog struggles, the woman walks backwards and pulls down her mask to phone 911, and says: “I’m in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening my dog.”

After repeating the sentence twice, she is then heard becoming hysterical and shouts into the phone: “I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”

The woman then attaches the leash to her dog after it was seen struggling throughout.

At that point, the man says “thank you” and stops recording the incident.

In a statement, the New York Police Department spokesperson said the police were called to the Ramble area of Central Park around 8am on Monday with an assault report.

On arrival, police determined that two people had argued and made no arrests.

The man’s sister said on Twitter that she wanted to thank those who had supported her brother.

“I wanted folks to know what happened to make sure it never happens again from her,” she wrote on Tuesday morning. “All she had to do was put her poor dog on the leash.”

Central Park’s rules state that dogs must be kept on leashes in the Rambles section of the park.

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