news 8 months ago

Man Punches Service Dog, Pregnant Deaf Woman: Cops

Newser — Neal Colgrass

Violence erupted on a Frontier flight Thursday and spilled into Orlando International Airport when a passenger allegedly punched a deaf pregnant woman and her service dog, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

It began when passenger Timothy Manley's wife complained about being allergic to the Great Dane, so he punched it, making the dog yelp and hide under the seat, police say.

The dog's deaf owners, Matthew Silva and fiancee Hazel Ramirez, shouted and signed angrily at the Manleys as the plane taxied to the gate. WFTV has cell phone video showing Silva, 30, kicking Manley, 59, in his seat.

At some point Manley allegedly punched 20-week-pregnant Ramirez in the stomach, and Silva tackled Manley in the terminal—apparently to keep him there until police arrived. Later, Manley's wife Petrini told WFTV that her husband just swatted the service dog by mistake when it startled him, but she told police that it began when "the larger service animal took up more space than Timothy felt it deserved." None involved accepted medical treatment, but Ramirez, 21, says she will prosecute.

The FBI is investigating because it started on an airplane, and will decide whether to press charges.

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This article originally appeared on Newser: Man Punches Service Dog, Pregnant Deaf Woman: Cops