BROOKLYN - Hamid Rahmanian recounts the unexpected twist his regular walk with his dog took last Thursday in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Heights.
The center of the park now features a newly laid-down field of artificial turf, used by kids and grownups alike. Signs are posted clearly that dogs are not allowed on the turf, but Rahmanian's puppy ran off Thursday morning and as he went to retrieve his dog, he was confronted by Parks Enforcement Patrol officers.
"The dog police, like four of them, just came to me," Rahmanian told FOX 5 New York.
The PEP officers told the renowned artist and puppeteer – who's lived in New York City for 30 years – that they were issuing him a ticket.
They asked him for identification, but he didn't have it on him. Rahmanian was arrested and taken to the local police precinct where he would be held until he was able to show officers a photo from his phone that showed his identification.
"We have consistently worked hard to ensure that park patrons are educated on the rules and that posted signage at the park is clear. Unfortunately, in this incident, the patron refused to comply with the rules as stated by both PEP and signage on site, and did not cooperate when asked for identification information. The patron was not arrested for having a dog on the turf; rather, he was brought in for identification verification," according to a statement from the Parks Department.
Rahmanian said he understands and supports the rule that dogs are not to go onto the turf which is used by children, but he said his arrest was entirely unnecessary.