A New York City woman was handcuffed and taken into custody after a confrontation with park cops over her unleashed dogs.
Dora Marchand, 29, was arrested last week after she was caught walking her two dogs Comet and Sophie in Riverside Park in defiance of a rule stating the pets should be leashed.
She has since condemned the cops who arrested her ‘when there are literally murders and theft happening all the time in New York.’
Marchand, who works as an IT professional, was confronted by Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers, and says she was hauled to jail after forgetting her ID and refusing to give her address.
But the dog owner says she was unable to remember the exact details of where she lived, because she only moved to Manhattan from San Francisco on July 28.
Recalling the incident, she told the West Side Rag: ‘I said I was sorry and that I was about to go home. I said I didn’t mean to cause any harm.’
Marchand claimed the officer was ready to release her with a warning when another officer appeared and asked her for her name, address and birth date in order to write her a ticket.
‘He wanted to write a ticket. I gave him my name and birthday but could not remember my address since we just moved. I offered to walk him over to the apartment I am renting to show him where I lived,’ she said.
‘I offered to go home and get my wallet but he said that isn’t how it works. He said I was under arrest for not giving out my address and put me in handcuffs.’
Dora Marchand, 29, was walking her dogs without a leash on the Upper West Side was arrested last week by park police
She alleged she was held in handcuffs for nearly two hours while the officers discussed what to do with her unleashed dogs since they could not be taken to the precinct.
‘It felt like he was a man having a power trip. There was no calming him down,’ Marchand said.
‘I was in the handcuffs for two hours while the officers were figuring out what to do with my dogs since they could not be taken to the precinct.’
Marchand said more officers arrived with cages and shock sticks in a bid to secure the unleashed animals – when a witness eventually let her use their cell phone to call her boyfriend who picked the dogs up.
‘He brought my wallet which had my ID, but the second officer said it was too late and they were just going to book me,’ Marchand claimed.
Marchand then spent an hour in the NYPD holding cell while officers verified her identity before she was released with a $200 fine for not complying with officers and $100 for having the dogs off-leash, she told the West Side Rag.
The dog owner told the New York Post that she was treated like a ‘real’ criminal at the precinct.
Marchand claimed officers made her remove her shoes and the strings from her pants as she sat in a holding cell, the outlet reported.
She claimed that officers with the NYPD teased the parks officers for detaining her at the station house.
‘They were kind of all laughing like, “This is not fascist Germany, we don’t arrest people for like not having dogs on the leash”,’ she said.
Video footage taken by a witness shows Marchand in handcuffs after she was arrested by Parks Enforcement Patrol officers before she was taken to the NYPD’s 20th precinct station house.
The Parks Enforcement Patrol, which sits under the Parks Department umbrella rather than the NYPD, has said that her arrest was necessary to verify her identity while issuing her summons for the dog-leash violation, the West Side Rag reported.
The dog owner told the West Side Rag that she left her apartment without her phone, wallet, or leashes for a walk in Riverside Park.
Marchand is seen being placed into handcuffs during her arrest last week
Parks enforcement officers were seen trying to put the unleashed dogs into cages
Officers are seen detaining Marchand, left, while using special gloves, right, to try to secure the two dogs
The dog owner claimed she would regularly walk her dogs without a leash in San Francisco – and knew there are rules preventing off-leash dogs in Riverside Park.
‘I knew my dogs weren’t supposed to be off-leash but I didn’t think I would be arrested for it,’ she said.
Marchand chastised the parks officers for arresting her when ‘there are more serious crimes happening in NY than walking a dog off-leash.’
‘Just thinking how at least 15 different people had to deal with me and not walking my dogs on a leash when there are literally murders and theft happening all the time in New York,’ she said.
And she vowed to continue defying the rule whose breach landed her in trouble, saying: ‘While I live here, I’ll take the dogs off-leash late at night. Or at least stay at the upper deck of the park where it seems socially alright.’
A Parks Department spokesman said Marchand had been arrested after refusing to comply with cops’ instruction, and becoming ‘confrontational.’
The spokesman said: ‘Unfortunately, in this incident, the patron refused to comply with the rules as stated by both PEP and signage on sight. The patron also became confrontational and did not cooperate when asked for identification information. For the safety and protection of our officers, handcuffs are standard when we are transporting anyone to the precinct in a shared vehicle.’
Marchand has countered those claims, and denied behaving inappropriately.
Marchand was ultimately released with a $200 fine for not complying with officers and $100 for having the dogs off-leash
The Parks Department confirmed Marchand had been issued a summons in a statement to the West Side Rag.
‘Officers attempted to issue a summons to a female patron in Riverside Park for two unleashed dogs on the soccer field,’ the statement reads.
‘When she could not produce identification, she was taken to the local precinct where her identification was verified.’
A spokesperson for the department added: ‘This patron has not been compliant with officers after warnings in the past.’
Marchand claimed to the West Side Rag that she has never had previous encounters with parks officers because she only moved to the city a week before her arrest.
The West Side Rag asked Parks Department officials why handcuffs were used to detain Marchand.
‘Unfortunately, in this incident, the patron refused to comply with the rules as stated by both PEP and signage on sight,’ the spokesperson told the outlet.
‘The patron also became confrontational and did not cooperate when asked for identification information. For the safety and protection of our officers, handcuffs are standard when we are transporting anyone to the precinct in a shared vehicle.’