SCHENECTADY -- A Schenectady man lost a fingertip on Christmas Eve when he was attacked by a large dog in the hallway of his downtown apartment building, and two people now face charges of having a dangerous dog, according to Schenectady City Court records.
Megan T. Bloom of 148 Clinton St. faces a misdemeanor charge of unlawful behavior of a dangerous dog, as the owner of a male pit bull mix named "Leo." The animal is accused of biting Michael Kinsella, a neighbor in the apartment building where the dog's owner also lived, at about 9:48 p.m. on Dec. 24.
Facing the same charge is Frank N. Costanzo of North Syracuse, described in court papers as Bloom's boyfriend, who was actually walking "Leo" on a leash at the time of the alleged attack. Both defendants have appeared once already in City Court, where their cases have been adjourned until late March in hope of reaching a resolution.
According to a complaint filed by a city animal control officer, the dog was being walked by Costanzo on a leash in a common area hallway of the building when Kinsella "was going to his apartment and the dog lunged and bit his hand."
"Mr. Kinsella did go to the emergency room for treatment and he did lose the tip of his finger during the incident," animal control officer Patricia Perez wrote in the complaint.
The city did not seize the dog at the time, and is not clear how soon the city became aware of the incident. The animal control officer's complaint was not sworn out until more than a week later, on Jan. 2.
However, "Leo" was ordered off the property immediately after the incident by the building's owner, and the complaint says the dog now resides with a cousin of Costanzo's who lives in central Pennsylvania. The Schenectady County Health Department was informed, and was expected to make contact with the local health department in Pennsylvania to make it aware of the dog.
The dog is licensed to Bloom, according to city records. Under the city's dangerous dog law, Bloom and Costanzo could face fines. The judge has the power to order the dog destroyed, permanently removed from the owner, or returned to the owner with significant restrictions.
Attorneys representing Bloom and Costanzo did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.