By John Tozzi
Civic activist Mandingo Tshaka sounded the alarm on the stray pooch when he saw it roaming without a leash on his 46th Avenue block several times in the week before Christmas.After he and other residents called 911, Tshaka said, police came and put the dog back behind the gate of his owner's home, he said. Neighbors said the owners were away, but Tshaka said officers should have taken the dog away because it escaped again several times.”Concerning this issue, they've been useless as tits on a boar hog,” he said of the police.Police are not allowed to take a loose dog if someone claims custody of it. Officers would only capture a dog if they saw it pose a threat, according to Sgt. Liam Burns of the 111th Precinct. Burns said he has been in touch with the owner and is trying to resolve the issue.The dog, a large black rottweiler, did not injure anyone but it did chase the mail carrier, Tshaka said. On the afternoon of Dec. 27, the dog could be seen walking back and forth on 206th Street east of the Clearview Expressway. Tshaka, dressed in a full-length fur coat and holding a samurai sword at his side, watched it from his front door.”I don't like the fact that I have to keep in my front door a samurai sword,” he said. “People shouldn't have to live in terror.”A neighbor, who said she used to own the dog before she gave it to its current owners earlier this year, placed him behind the property's fence Dec. 27. She identified the dog as “Mickey,” but declined to give her name.Several people parking on the street appeared afraid to get out of their cars while the dog was on the loose. Residents who live in another apartment in the same house as the dog's owner seemed to have difficulty getting in and out of the property.Tshaka called the dog a “menace” and said he should have been taken away instead of put back behind the owner's gate. He also suggested there was a double standard.”If an African-American male had chased the mailman down the street, where would he be?” he said. “The system has more compassion for the dog than it does for my people.”Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 174.