Viral videos appearing to show a woman on a Bird electric scooter dragging a dog on a Bakersfield street have sparked outrage, and the incident is now the subject of a police investigation.
Bakersfield television station KERO reported that it was first made aware of pictures showing a person holding a bloody dog over the weekend. A viewer contacted KERO on Monday with surveillance video that shows a woman traveling on a scooter in the area of downtown Bakersfield with a dog being dragged behind her.
Brandon Sanders told the television station he was with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon when they witnessed the incident, believing at first the dog was a stuffed animal because the canine was motionless. They yelled at the scooter rider to stop, but she was wearing headphones and it’s unclear if she heard them.
Sanders confronted the woman when she got closer and asked if she and the dog were OK.
She responded, “S–t happens, just like with kids,” Sanders wrote in a widely shared post on Facebook.
“We told her, ‘No, you don’t drag your kids behind a scooter at 15 mph,'” Sanders told KERO.
The dog had four bloody paws, Sanders said. The woman referred to the dog as “mama,” he said.
Sanders snapped photos of the wounded canine – and the woman – and posted them on social media.
“I was on my bicycle and she was walking, and she looked at me, and when she saw that I was taking her picture, she smiled at me, kind of a smart-aleck smile,” Sanders told the station. “I’m not going to say that what she did was intentional, but it was very negligent. She had to have drug the dog at least 100 yards before she even checked to see if it was still there – and that’s just from what we saw, from the point to where we actually saw her to where she stopped.”
Another witness, James Dowell, recorded videos of the incident and posted them to Facebook on Monday morning. The post was shared nearly 2,000 times in less than a day and elicited outrage from numerous users.
(The disturbing videos are apparently no longer embeddable, but can be viewed here.)
Police in Bakersfield are investigating the incident. Bird released the following statement to KERO:
“We find the video to be deeply disturbing and are appreciative of the community for bringing it to our attention. This type of rider behavior is wrong and prohibited by Bird. As soon as we were made aware of the video, we began our own investigation of the incident and have suspended the account for the individual involved in the incident.”
No arrests have been made, police said.
Bird, the scooter company, also issued a statement saying the behavior was “wrong” and is prohibited by the company. The woman’s account has been suspended and the incident is under investigation, Bird stated, according to KERO.
Meanwhile, Sanders posted on Facebook that animal services picked up the dog. The canine was medically treated and expected to make a full recovery.