The Orlando police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating whether to press charges against a passenger who is alleged to have punched a service dog and the dog’s pregnant, deaf owner on a flight from Colorado to Orlando on Thursday afternoon.
According to WthrNews, the flight had been descending to land when passengers Timothy and Petrini Manley complained the dog had been taking up too much room on the plane. Petrini, 56, stated she was allergic to dogs, and when the Great Dane named Zariel stretched when he woke up from the flight, Timothy Manley, 59, said the dog “took up more space than [he] felt it deserved.”
Manley allegedly punched the dog in the face with a closed fist, causing Zariel to cry out. The frightened dog shook and hid under the seat. The owners of the dog, Matthew Silvay and Hazel Ramirez, a couple who are both deaf, travel with their service dog. Their young children were also on the flight. The couple began arguing with the Manleys and tried to communicate through sign language. During the argument, Hazel claims she was hit in the stomach; she is 20 weeks pregnant.
Afterwards at the airport, Petrini Manley claimed the entire incident had been a misunderstanding and stated her husband had accidentally hit the dog. No one has been arrested pending an investigation, however Hazel wishes to press charges. Everyone involved declined medical help.
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