According to a police affidavit, the dog’s owner admitted that she’d tried to kill it after arguing with a TriMet employee.
PORTLAND, Ore. — TriMet workers intervened when a woman on a MAX train tried to strangle her dog with its leash on Monday, according to court documents. The woman now faces animal abuse charges.
An officer from the Portland Police Bureau responded to the intersection of Southwest 6th Avenue and Southwest Morrison Street for a report of someone choking their dog, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The officer arrived to find 40-year-old Jessica Sue McQueen (aka Tornblad) being held to the ground by several TriMet employees.
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McQueen was taken into custody, and police asked her what had happened. The initial parts of her story, as reported by police, lined up with what the TriMet staff would also claim.
McQueen said she was riding the MAX train with her dog when it began to bark, prompting a TriMet employee to ask her to keep the dog under control.
“Defendant stated that she got mad and argued with the employee, telling him that she can do whatever she wants with her dog,” the affidavit reads. “Defendant stated that she then told the employee, ‘F*** it, I will hang my dog.'”
When asked to clarify what she meant during questioning, McQueen allegedly told police that she’d been trying to hang her dog by its leash and kill it “because no one cares about her life.”
The TriMet worker who first confronted McQueen told police that the woman lifted her small dog off the ground by the leash, then spun the dog in a circle in the air. The employee said that he ran after McQueen when she got off the train, telling her to stop hurting the dog.
McQueen stopped spinning the dog and again lifted it off the ground by the leash, the employee said, hanging it by the neck. Then McQueen tied the leash onto a nearby fence, leaving the dog dangling above the ground, the affidavit says.
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TriMet workers rushed to save the dog, though not before McQueen allegedly grabbed the dog’s hind legs and squeezed hard, “causing the dog to whimper.”
At that point, the affidavit says, another bystander tackled McQueen to the ground while TriMet workers got the dog down from the fence.
McQueen was charged Tuesday with first-degree aggravated animal abuse, attempted first-degree aggravated animal abuse, attempted first-degree animal abuse and second-degree animal abuse.
It wasn’t immediately clear from court documents what has since happened with McQueen’s dog. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that police took the dog to DoveLewis emergency animal hospital to be treated for potential injuries.
McQueen was granted conditional release on Wednesday, with the stipulation that she not possess any animals.