Denver police at the scene of a car accident allegedly threatened to arrest a man who was trying to help a dog who lay dying in the street for 90 minutes after it was hit Wednesday night.
"It was in shock, its pupils were totally dilated. It couldn't really move," said neighbor Ross Knapp.
The dog had a collar and leash but no tags.
Knapp says he gave the dog water and tried to comfort it, but was repeatedly told to leave by Denver police.
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"I had one of the officers tell me I had to leave and couldn’t be near it. I tried a couple of times to go back and he just finally said I'm impeding on an investigation or something, and if I came back I'd be arrested," Knapp told 7News.
Records reportedly show the Denver police called animal control 15 minutes after arriving at the scene of the accident.
Video taken at the scene shows the dog gasping for air for 90 minutes.
The dog died minutes before animal control finally arrived.
Denver police claim they followed policy but refused to review the video.
"It's always about the personal safety of that individual. It's not trying to be cruel to the animal or cruel to the individual. It's best if we get the Animal Control people in there, let them do what they do as experts and let them take the actions," said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson, who told 7News he didn’t have time to watch the video.
Englewood resident Connor Leiva said that’s not enough. He’s started a petition at Change.org demanding a formal apology from the Denver Police Department. It has more than 1,000 signatures.
“What if that was my dog,” Knapp said, “and I had no idea and somebody want to help it and was told ‘You are not allowed to help this dog’?”