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NEW YORK - MAY 23: A woman takes several dogs for a walk in Washington Square Park May 23, 2005 in New York City. A renovation is planned for the Greenwich Village park which includes installing a perimeter fence, relocating the signature fountain by approximately 20 feet to line up with the Washington Square Arch, moving both dog runs as well as restructuring pathways. Community reaction has been mixed to the changes, but the $16 million dollar renovation is slated to begin this summer. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
The U.S. Park Police has identified the man who witnesses say stabbed a dog several times in a popular San Francisco dog park last week. The dog, named Lenny, is recovering after surgery to repair serious wounds. He was released to go home with his owner Saturday.
The suspect's identity came after a call to the public for help in finding the alleged canine assailant. Two people came forward to name him, according to a statement from U.S. Park Police spokesman George Durgerian. He has not been arrested.
The police are withholding the suspect's name pending further investigation, but described the suspect as a 33-year-old white male.
The stabbing happened 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Fort Funston. Lenny's owner was walking with him near the Sunset Trail when they were approached by the suspect who was walking his pit bull named "Denali." The dogs both showed aggressive stances toward each other, so the woman asked the suspect if the pit bull was neutered, which it is not, police said.
The man responded to the question by suddenly stabbing Lenny four times with a knife and fleeing the park, police said. The attack left the dog with severe injuries that damaged many of his internal organs, including his spleen and at least one lung, Durgerian said.
The initial hope that frequenters of the park who know other habitual dog walkers there would be able to identify the man proved to be well-founded with the positive identification Saturday.
Members of several San Francisco dog walking associations sprang into action after the unprovoked attack, contacting a multitude of local vets trying to locate the man through his pit bull and attempting to identify him through his supposed patronage at an Outer Sunset pet supply store.
Linda McKay, a member of the Fort Funston Dog Walkers Association, believed the suspect also walks his dog at other San Francisco parks, and made an effort to alert dog walkers in the city to be on-guard when they take their animals out.
"He's not just a Fort Funston person, he goes to all the dog parks," McKay said Saturday. "We understand he goes to Stern Grove, as well."